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

Is There any Benefit to Viewing Your Social Security Disability SSI File?

I was having this conversation with another individual who is also a former disability examiner and is currently a CR (claims rep) in a social security office. Our shared opinion was that there was, for most claimants, little advantage to an unrepresented claimant viewing their file. This is simply because most claimants will have difficulty understanding how prior decisions (by disability examiners) were made.

Without an understanding of how past work and other work are viewed and how medical vocational rules are applied to direct the outcome of a case, it might asking a little too much of anyone who is not a disability examiner, CR, or disability representative (who could be a disability attorney or a non-attorney representative) to understand exactly what has transpired on a case at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels.

However, there are a few reasons that can validate a claimant getting a copy of the disability file on disc.

1. The claimant can see what medical evidence was obtained and if any treatment date ranges were missed. As to medical records, the claimant can also learn whether or not incorrect records were accumulated in the file (I recently became aware of a situation where the file included records for a person of the same name, but which did not belong to the actual claimant: obviously a mistake).

2. The claimant can potentially learn what the medical treatment sources (your treating physician and other sources of treatment) may really think about the claimant's condition and their limitations. Sometimes, this can be enlightening. I have actually encountered situations in which claimants fully believed that their doctor stood 100% behind their claim. Then, after an attempt was made to obtain a medical source statement supporting the claim, it became clearer that the physician did not actually believe that their patient possessed functional limitations to the extent that they were disabling.

3. The claimant may be able to see how their own description of the various jobs that entailed their past work became translated into actual job identifications by the disability examiner (using a reference source known as the DOT, or dictionary of occupational titles). In some cases, an astute claimant may find that the job title and description of work duties assigned by the examiner to the job title and description of work duties provided by the claimant...are not a valid match.

Why do bad matches occur? Because there are many jobs that exist in the national economy that are not listed in the DOT. This may be particularly true in the case of tech jobs that have been created in the last decade...The DOT, on the other hand, has not been updated by its publication source (the Department of Labor) since 1991.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long for a disability judge to make a decision?
While you are in your disability interview
The SSD and SSI definition of disability
How many hours can you work if you are receiving Social Security Disability?
Decisions on disability applications, fully and partially favorable
How do you get Social Security Disability?
How to file for disability in Rhode Island
Dire Need and Getting a Social Security Disability or SSI Case Speeded Up
Applying for disability with bipolar
How to file for disability in Missouri
Will taking medicine affect your disability case?
What do you get when you pay for a disability attorney?
Can I afford a disability attorney for my claim?
Social Security Disability Children Benefits
Allodynia and Filing for Disability

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

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.