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To get disability, you have to show the right evidence
As a disability examiner for social security administration, I would occasionally be sent huge packets of information by claimants that were, for lack of a better phrase, not especially useful.
1. What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
2. What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability?
3. How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
This was often an attempt on the part of the claimant to supply additional information in support of their claim, including medical records. Which was admirable because, ideally, a claim will be best served when the adjudicator (a disability examiner or a disability judge, depending on what level the claim is at) is given as much information as possible, particularly medical record documentation.
However, not all documentation that a claimant might consider useful medical evidence...actually is. Here's a short of what is and what is not useful.
1. Admission and Discharge summaries from hospitals. Definitely useful.
2. Nurses notes from a hospital. Not useful at all.
3. Treatment notes from a claimant's doctor, or treating physician. Very useful.
4. Chiropractor records. I know some people swear by the services rendered to them by their chiropractor; however, social security does not consider chiropractors to be medical treatment sources and so their records are not considered medical evidence. If you send in records from your chiropractor, how will they be viewed? They won't be read at all, most likely, unless an xray report is also included.
5. Xray films. Not useful. Why? Because a disability examiner or a social security disability judge is not a medical professional. Neither individual is qualified to interpret a raw film.
6. An xray report with the interpretation of the xray film. Useful.
7. Printouts from your pharmacy. Not useful.
By all means, if you apply for social security disability, send in whatever medical records you have, and always notify social security regarding doctors and hospitals that have provided treatment, and sources of treatment that they may not be aware of. However, keep in mind that not everything printed on paper actually constitutes medical evidence.
How can you distinguish between the two? There are two ways. First of all, for social security administration purposes, medical evidence is that which has at its source a medical doctor (chiropractors and homeopaths are out, and nurse's notes are not useful).
Secondly, useful medical evidence is that which actually says something about a claimant's residual functional capacity, i.e. their remaining ability to work. How this translates on paper is this: records should ideally state A) a claimant's limitations in terms of muscle strength, range of motion, and ability to persist in certain actions such as sitting, walking, etc, and B) should offer a prognosis regarding the claimant's diagnosis and functional capacity.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
How to file for disability in Oklahoma OK
How long will it take to receive my Social Security Award letter and back pay?
Doctor who does the Social Security Disability Medical Exam
Filing a disability appeal is how most cases are won
Doctors who work for Social Security and their qualifications
Will I qualify for disability if I tried to go back to work?
Filing an SSI disability appeal
The chances of winning with a Social Security disability judge
Social Security Disability and ESRD, End Stage Renal Disease
Can I get disability for arthritis in my shoulders, arms, and feet?
Time to get a scheduled disability hearing date, or court date
Can you file for disability with Hypothyroidism?
Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
Eligibility for disability and who qualifies
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
Getting a disability approval
How to appeal disability denial
Disability hearing results
Helpful tips for going to social security disability hearing
SSDI hearing decision
Denied social security disability now what
Social security disability appeal status
Social security disability appeal attorney fees
I was denied social security disability for the 2nd time
What happens after a disability hearing has been held
How long does a Social Security Disability judge have to make a ruling?
The Social Security Disability Blue book
How to get an SSDI reconsideration approved?
Conditions that get approved for disability
Social security disability back pay status
Denied social security disability appeal
What to say at a disability hearing
Filing for disability with fibromyalgia
Tips for applying for disability