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

Social Security Disability, Medical Records and a Disability Attorney

I've said more than once on this blog that a claimant can do the work of getting their own medical records together. And at the disability application step and the request for reconsideration appeals level, this is not a bad idea at all. Getting the records and submitting them yourself can potentially help speed your disability case along faster.

I know from personal experience as a former disability examiner that whenever a case landed on my desk with all the medical records already there, I viewed it as a bonus. And I worked on that case immediately because it was an opportunity to get a case done quickly and improve my work statistics.

At the Social Security Disability ALJ hearing appeal level, however, things are a bit different. I would have to say that, at this level , it is better to leave the record gathering to your representative, either a disability lawyer or a qualified non-attorney representative.

Why is this? Because a representative will be more likely to know which records to focus on and which records take priority in gathering. For instance, when requesting medical records from a hospital medical records department, you will probably not to waste time (and the expense of copying) obtaining the nurse's notes. Generally, these are of little to no value with regard to winning a disability case, and, due to their sheer volume, may slow down the processing of your medical record request.

However, there is another aspect to letting a representative gather records for you, which is this---clerks at medical record departments are more likely to "rush" a request from the office of John Smith the claimant's representative (fictional name) than from John Smith, the patient.

This has everything to do with human nature. People tend to respect, and, consequently, respond more quickly to officialdom, i.e. "things and people who sound official".

Of course, there are many other reasons for having representation at a disability hearing, such as the fact that unrepresented claimants have a much lower chance of being awarded benefits. But, in the case of medical records, it it pretty obvious---let your rep do the record gathering.

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?

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Can you win disability if you have a job?
Approved for disability for cancer
Will SSI deny my claim?
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How and why to check Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability back pay
Non medical requirements for disability
Qualifying for disability, SSD SSI
When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
Who qualifies for SSI?
Forms to complete when filing, applying for disability
How long does SSDI and SSI disability take to get?
Filing for disability with Depression
Can You Get Approved For SSI or SSD Benefits with a Mental Condition
How long for a disability judge to make a decision?
While you are in your disability interview
The SSD and SSI definition of disability
Filing for disability with carpal tunnel syndrome
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Can you work if you get a disability check?
Disability application denied
File for disability, the application
How to get disability benefits
Conditions that get approved for disability
How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security

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.