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How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Using a disability lawyer to Help with Medical Records



 
An article mentioned the specific case of a claimant who was denied for disability benefits and learned later that one of her hospitals had failed to send in her medical records.

Sadly, this happens a lot when SSD and SSI cases are processed at the initial claim level and reconsideration level. But why does it happen?

Here's a short list as to why.

1. In a small percentage of cases it is true that social security will not get some of your records simply because the records were not requested. Failing to request medical records can sometimes happen as an oversight, but its really not likely to happen.

In other words, if you list a medical source on your disability application or disability appeal, the examiner will send out the request for records because failing to do so can get a disability examiner in not water with his or her unit supervisor.

Generally speaking, when records from a certain doctor or hospital have not been requested, it is because the person filing for Social Security Disability has not provided the proper information. And that happens more than most would think. So, always remember to provide full and complete information when you submit forms to social security, especially your disability application.

2. In other cases, the person working on your disability case may have requested the records, done multiple followups (calling the medical source on the phone and asking "hey where are those records I requested two months ago"), and still not have received the records.

In cases like that, there's not much that can be done. Unfortunately, some medical providers are absolutely horrible about responding to record requests from social security. In instances like this, the examiner may have little choice but to make a decision on a disability claim minus certain records.

A failure to obtain needed medical records, however, happens less often at the disability hearing level. Why is this? It may be partially due to the fact that a disability advocate or representative (assuming one has representation) will sometimes perform many more followups on requests for records than an examiner at DDS ordinarily might.

In fact, many reps will do the equivalent of pestering a doctor's office to death until they've complied with a record request. Why? Because a disability representative (a lawyer or non-attorney advocate) does not get paid unless a case is won. And, in most cases, your chances of winning are diminished if you don't have all the records.








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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com 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 SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.