Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

How Can You Get Medical Records For A Disability Case If You Have No Insurance?

I have seen this question in so many disability forums recently, and I think it is important to provide some answers as to how Social Security looks at medical records when they are making disability determinations.

The lack of medical records is a very common problem for individuals who have not been working or have been unable to pay for health insurance. So how does Social Security get medical information for their medical determinations if an individual has not been able to afford treatment? Unfortunately, individuals who do have no medical records or no current medical records will have to attend consultative examinations.

Consultative examinations are very basic mental or physical examinations that are performed by doctors who are paid by Social Security. Very often, in fact, consultative examinations are performed by physicians whose medical specialty has nothing to do with a disability claimant's disabling condition or conditions.

Many disability claimants have complained that the physician took no time with them and did not even address what they felt was their disabling impairment. I think it is important to mention that consultative examinations are not meant to be in-depth or provide any kind of treatment for a disability applicant. They are strictly to give a Social Security Disability examiner enough current medical information to make a disability decision.

As you might guess, an individualís disability claim has a greater chance of being approved if they have some kind of medical information other than the results of a short cursory consultative examination performed by a doctor who has no history of treatment with the claimant.

So how can an individual get medical records for their disability claim if they have no insurance? I do not know all of the answers, but I do have a couple of suggestions that may provide an individual some medical records for their disability case. Most areas have medical clinics that are either free, or charge based upon an individualís income.

I would suggest an individual consider contacting one of these clinics for medical treatment so that they have at least some kind of current medical records (Social Security considers medical records to be current only if they are ninety days or less old). Even emergency room records or hospital records are useful to an individualís disability claim, because they often contain objective medical testing or clinical notes.

While an individual may still have to attend a consultative examination or examinations, it does not hurt to have medical records to bolster their disability case. In my experience, consultative examinations alone do not often lead to an approval for disability benefits.

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Related pages:

Social Security Denied Me But Didnít Have All My Medical Records?
How Can You Get Medical Records For A Disability Case without Insurance?
Can you be denied disability if social security cannot find your medical records?
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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, 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 homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.