Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

What does Social Security need from your medical records?

1. The information from a claimant's medical records should allow the disability examiner or administrative law judge (depending on the level of the claim) to discern that the claimant has functional limitations that are great enough to rule out the ability to work at a substantial and gainful level at--

A) at job that is part of their relevant work history and

B) at any other type of job for which they might otherwise be qualified.

2. The information should go far back enough to precede their DLI, or date last insured (think of it as the expiration point for insurance coverage), if their claim is for title II social security disability only, and should also go far back enough to hopefully support their AOD, or alleged onset date (when they believe that their condition became disabling).

3. The information in the medical records should contain recent information that supports a finding of "disabled". Social Security, for this reason, needs to see medical evidence that has been generated within the last ninety days. What happens if recent information is not in the file? It can make it more difficult to get a case approved.

For SSA to make the determination that a person is disabled, they need to be able to determine that the person is disabled now. Without recent medical record information, a disability examiner will certainly be faced with having to schedule a claimant for a social security medical exam, or CE (consultative exam).

Consults are performed by independent physicians and when they are physical exams, they tend to be fairly brief. They are not for the purpose of providing treatment, and the examining physician may know next to nothing about the claimant or their medical history. Typically, a social security medical exam is ordered simply so the examiner can get the case closed.

Will a CE get a disability case approved? Usually not on its own. However, if the remainder of the medical evidence is strong enough, it can allow an approval to be made since it will supply recent medical records which the examiner needs to close the case.

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

Related pages:

How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
Applying for disability with seizures
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How many disability appeals are won and what are the chances?
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How to file for disability in Utah
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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

My Social Security Disability SSI appeal status
Disability back pay, how it works
Eligibility criteria requirements for disability
Qualifying requirements for disability
Decision on disability case, are you eligible for a disability award
When is a Person Considered Disabled by Social Security?
Forms to appeal a Social Security Disability denial
Permanent disability benefits
How to qualify for disability with depression
If Social Security sends you to a psychiatrist
Disability denied twice
How to claim disability
How many times will Social Security deny you?
Applying for Disability with high blood pressure
Will my children get benefits if I get approved for disability?
How much time for a decision on a disability claim?
Can you work if you get an SSI disability check?
How to File for SSI
Filing for disability, how to apply for SSD, SSI
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
How to get disability
How to appeal a disability denial