Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    New and featured pages on

    Social Security Disability Requirements

    Social Security Disability list of impairments

    Social Security Disability Application

    Can you get disability for arthritis of the knee?

    How much income can you earn on Social Security disability?

    If you get denied at a disability hearing, can you win later?

    How much can an attorney charge for Social Security disability?

    Can you get approved for disability based on Ulcerative Colitis?

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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?
    Social Security Disability Medical Records
    How Far Back Does Social Security Look At Medical Records for SSDI SSI?
    Social Security Disability, Medical Records, and a Person's Limitations
    Medical Evidence on a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim
    Getting your medical records can speed up your disability claim
    Will a Disability attorney try to Help You get Your Medical Records?
    Can a disability lawyer charge an hourly fee for helping to file the claim?
    If you apply for disability in Maryland
    Will I qualify for disability benefits in Maryland?
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in Maryland

    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