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

What Do Your Medical Records Have to Say for Social Security to decide You have a Disabling Condition?

Social Security considers medical records from acceptable medical sources when making their disability decisions.

Social Security views medical records from licensed physicians, certified psychologists, and licensed optometrists to be acceptable medical treatment sources. Additionally, Social Security obtains medical records from hospitals, clinics, or other treatment facilities where an individual has been treated. Social Security values medical treatment records from an individual’s treating medical professionals because it provides a better longitudinal view of an individual's impairments and how these impairments affect the individuals ability to perform routine daily activities.

If your treating physician provides a medical report (statement), i.e. a a medical source statement or RFC form to Social Security, it may be very helpful to your chances of winning your disability claim.

Social Security needs the following evidence to be included in the statement. There needs to be an up to date medical history, objective clinical results (physicals and mental status evaluations), laboratory results (x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, etc.), a clear diagnosis, treatment methods and treatment response, along with a prognosis.

Additionally, Social Security would like for your treating medical professional to give an opinion as to what they feel you are able to do in spite of the limitations caused by your impairment (Social Security calls this your residual functional capacity). This statement should explain the effect your condition(s) or impairment(s) has on your ability to perform work activities, like walking, standing, lifting, carrying, fine motor activities, hearing, seeing, or even driving or traveling.

If your disability claim involves mental treatment sources, their statements should describe an individual’s ability to respond to the pressures of a work environment, the ability to understand and remember instructions, and the ability to respond to coworkers and supervisors in an appropriate manner.

The above information is what Social Security would like to find in your medical records. If your medical records illustrate that your physical or mental residual functional capacity is so restrictive that you are unable to perform simple routine repetitive tasks in a work environment, Social Security is likely to consider that you have a disabling condition that may meet the criteria for awarding disability benefits.

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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What mental problems qualify for disability?
SSI disability status
How to prove you qualify for disability
Qualifying for disability eligibility requirements
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled
How much does disability pay?
Factors involved in Winning SSDI or SSI Claims
Applying for disability with Degenerative Disc Disease
How long to get a Social Security decision letter?
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
The amount of back pay that you receive
Social Security medical disability determination process
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security Disability benefits?
How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
Can you work if you get SSI disability?
Social Security Disability attorney fees
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What are the non medical requirements for disability
How to get SSI
Approved for disability benefits
SSD SSI disability hearing decision

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.