How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Will SSD or SSI Disability Be Based On Newer Or Older Medical Records?

Social Security Disability determinations are based upon newer medical records...if that is all that Social Security has available to them. This means that disability examiners must have new current medical records to make their disability determinations, but not necessarily older records (though older medical records are used to determine a claimant's onset, i.e how far back their disability began, which can have a definite impact on how much back pay the claimant is eligible to receive).

Social Security Disability examiners, ideally, like to have more medical records and a longer medical history to base their medical determination upon. Social Security actually prefers at least a twelve-month medical history or more (assuming that the records exist and can be located) to evaluate the severity of an individual’s disability or disabling condition.

Older medical records, along with newer medical records, help establish how long an individual has had their disabling condition as well as the severity of the condition. Individuals who have a long medical treatment history usually have more detailed information as to how their disabling condition has prevented them from performing substantial work activity (SGA is a monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers to be at a level that self–sustaining).

Older records are particularly useful if an individual has not performed substantial work activity for quite some time prior to filing for disability. Why? Because it may enable their disability to be established prior to their date last insured, or DLI. DLI is the date that they no longer had disability insured status.

Insured status is earned though work activity and in order to be insured for Social Security Disability an individual must be "fully insured" and "disability insured". To be fully insured, an individual must have earned at least one quarter of coverage per year from the age of twenty-one to the year they became disabled and they must have worked twenty quarters out of the past forty possible quarters.

This basically means that an individual must have worked five out of the last twenty years in order to have disability insured status. Once an individual has become insured, howver, it is not indefinite, which means it could expire if an individual has not worked.

In addition to allowing earlier onset of disability, older medical records may enable a disability claimant to receive up to twelve months retroactive benefits from the date they filed if they have been out of work at least seventeen months (there is a five month waiting period that Social Security never pays disability benefits).

In a nutshell, Social Security Disability benefits may be based upon both old and new records. And some individuals may receive Social Security Disability or SSI benefits strictly because they had old medical treatment notes for Social Security to use.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How Far Back Does Social Security Look At Your Medical Records?
Does Social Security Disability prefer Current Medical Records?
Medical Records That Are Best For Disability Claim
Will SSD or SSI Disability Be Based On Newer Or Older Medical Records?
Medical Evidence for Social Security Disability
Why does it take so long for Social Security to get medical records?
Recent Medical Records for a Social Security Disability or SSI case
Including medical reports with the application for disability
How do medical records and work history determine a disability claim?
What if the disability examiner cannot find all the medical records?
Can you apply for disability if you already receive Social Security?
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Minnesota?
If you apply for disability in Minnesota

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.