Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

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?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria