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

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.

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

Related pages:

How to file for disability in Michigan
Maximum disability attorney fee
Filing for disability with repetitive stress
How to file for disability in Oregon
Can you win disability if you have a job?
Approved for disability for cancer
Will SSI deny my claim?
How to get disability for degenerative disc disease
How much do you pay a disability lawyer and how are they paid?
How to file for disability in Alaska
Getting a Social Security Disability overpayment forgiven
Can your doctor get you on disability?
When you apply for disability, do they investigate you?
Help from your doctor to get disability
How severe must your condition be to be awarded Social Security Disability or SSI?
Meniere's disease and filing for disability

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

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