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SSDRC Disability Blog

When you apply for social security disability should you send copies of your xrays?

Over the course of many years, I've had disability claimants send me their xrays. Not the xray reports, mind you, but the actual films. This has happened to me while I worked as a disability examiner and also in the course of disability representation.

Should you ever send your disability representative your xray films? No. Should you ever send the disability examiner who has been assigned to make the decison on your case your xray films? No. Should you take your xray films to the social security office when you go to apply for disability? Once again, the answer is no.

Here's why: xray films by themselves are meaningless if they are not accompanied by an xray interpretation report that has been completed by a physician. Yes, I know it may sound incredible, but the honest truth is that neither a disability examiner nor a claimant's representative (a disability attorney or non attorney disability claim representative) are qualified to read and interpret radiological imaging. All of these individuals rely on the report of findings, also known as the interpretation, of the xray imaging that is issued by a medical doctor.

And while we're on the subject of submitting medical evidence that may or may not be useful, here are a few other things that you may wish to avoid sending, either to an examiner or to your representative:

1. Nurses notes - these are generally useless when it comes to evaluating a social security disability or SSI claim. Typically, the only "medical notes" that hold substantial evaluative value are those that bear the signature of an M.D.

2. Social Worker notes - these types of records can surface in mental disability cases, but, again, these have little value. As with physical impairment cases, the notes of value will be those that originate from care provided by a physician, in this case a psychiatrist (psychiatrists hold M.D.s while psychologists hold Ph.Ds).

3. Chiropractor's records - of absolutely no value to a disability examiner or a disability judge ruling at a hearing. The social security administration simply does not recognize chiropractic medicine and its practitioners as valid medical sources, even if a certain percentage of the population seems to receive a certain amount of benefit from the efforts of chiropractors.

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

Related pages:

Disability representation at a hearing increases the chances of winning
The chief goal of social security disability and SSI representation
The Social Security Disability Representation Fee and What a Lawyer is Paid
What is the process for approving a Social Security disability claim?
Should you hire a Non-Attorney Disability Representative instead of a Lawyer?
When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?
How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
Speeding up the Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Process
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only
When you apply for social security disability should you send copies of your xrays?
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
What disability claimants get angry about - Part II
How does Social Security consider pain?

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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida