Requesting medical records from my doctors to possibly speed up the disability decision

Is it possible for me to get all of my medical records myself and submit them on my own without social security requesting them from my doctors themselves?

Of course. Social Security will gladly pay to get them from your doctors but if you are willing to get all of your records it may even expedite the processing of your disability claim.

How so? Because disability examiners usually receive new cases daily. The first thing they do with them is generate requests for medical records from all the medical treatment sources that you listed on your disability application. After these request letters have been generated, the case will sit for often several weeks until the records begin to arrive from doctor's offices, clinics, and hospitals.

Once the records are in, the examiner can begin to review them in order to try and make a decision. However, when a case arrives with the medical records already pre-gathered, this represents an opportunity for an examiner to get a case done quickly which is an issue because examiners are usually evaluated partly on their processing times, i.e. how quickly they move cases.

So, getting your records yourself can potentially save your case a lot of time. Perhaps weeks or months. But, there is a catch. This only works if you actually get the records that the examiner needs.

A good rule of thumb is to do the following:

1. Get records from all your places of treatment.

2. Get records going back at least as far as the time you claim that your disability began.

3. Make sure that there are some current medical records included since the examiner will need current records in order to make a decision.

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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