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

When submitting Medical Records for disability, don't make this mistake

Here's a tip for anyone who is filing for Social Security Disability or filing for SSI disability. This one comes courtesy of a social security claims rep I know (A CR is, for those who are unaware, is an individual who, among other things, takes the application for disability in a social security field office. After the application is taken, of course, the file is transferred to a state disability agency where it is assigned to an examiner and then processed for a decision).

If you plan on submitting medical records when you submit your claim, don't make the mistake of thinking you can bring a huge pile of records (and medical evidence very often exists in huge piles) to the social security office and ask them to copy them all for you so you can take the same copies home with you. If you do this, this is what may happen: only about 10-15 pages of the gargantuan pile you have brought with you may be sent to DDS (disability determination services, the agency I mentioned in the first paragraph).

Why is this the case? The answer is very simple. Social Security claims reps are hugely busy these days. Oftentimes, they take up to 5 new disability applications per day, which means, on top of taking caring of their other duties (such as handling appeals, reviews, dealing with workman's comp issues and handing retirement claims), they have to...spend time interviewing up to five separate claimants. One has to wonder how they can even keep their wits considering the mere fact that it is practically impossible to ever get caught up on the workload (with ever higher numbers of cases coming through the door).

Being as busy as they are, the last thing nearly any field office claims rep has time to do is---copy huge piles of medical records so claimants can have the convenience of taking home a personal copy.

So, what do you do if you want to submit your medical records to the social security office when you apply for disability, yet want to keep a copy of the same records?

Again, the answer is very simple. when you get your medical records in hand, make another copy for yourself to keep. Then, when you go to the social security office to file a claim, GIVE THEM A COPY TO KEEP instead of asking them to make a copy of what you have. Because, if you do that, you stand a good chance of them only sending 10-15 pages to disability determination services. And, if that happens, what was even the point of getting copies of your medical records.

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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

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Social Security Disability appeal status
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How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions
When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application
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Proving Social Security Disability for a mental condition
SSDI SSI Eligibility Requirements and Criteria
Qualifying for disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)
How does a person qualify for SSDI or SSI disability, how are they eligible?

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.