You Cannot get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award if you don't Provide SSA what they need

Continued from: Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?

AOD stands for "alleged onset date" and this is the date supplied by the claimant at the time of application. It is essentially the date for which the claimant alleges that their disability began. To award disability benefits back to this date, making the decision fully favorable, social security will need access to medical records which existed at that point in time.

For this reason, a claimant should indicate A) their earliest dates of treatment and B) all medical treatment providers. However, many claimants will fail to provide old medical sources not realizing that the older sources may hold the only records that fully support their case.

In addition to this, many claimants may not realize that Social security rules and criteria dictate that a disability examiner or judge (if the case is at the hearing stage) will need recent medical records (meaning not older than ninety days) before a person can be determined to be disabled and eligible to receive disability benefits.

Finally, many claimants will fail to provide the necessary contact information for their various medical treatment sources. This may be because they assume that the social security administration has a master database that allows them to locate all of a claimant's medical treatment sources, even if the claimant is not entirely sure of the name and address of a clinic or doctor.

However, SSA does not have a magic database and disability examiners are often forced to dig for information and attempt to "sleuth it out". Often, they are successful, but sometimes they are not and the result is that crucial medical records may not be gathered.

Very often, however, a disability representative or disability lawyer will interview their new client to get detailed information regarding past jobs and sources of treatment. This is so that detailed information can be passed back to the social security administration and the chances of being approved may be maximized.

However, this last point emphasizes why it may be to the claimant's advantage to seek representation before their claim is denied. There are, increasingly, disability attorneys and advocates who place more focus on trying to get cases won sooner.

In the past, a lawyer or representative might simply assume that it was impossible to win before the case got to a hearing. That seems to be changing, to some degree, however, as more individuals in the profession are taking an active interest in trying to get cases won at the initial claim or reconsideration level.

The key to this, of course, involves assisting the social security administration with gathering needed information, making sure the claimant does not provide faulty or insufficent evidence, and procuring qualified, detailed statements (see Medical Source statement) from a claimant's personal physician, or treating physician.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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