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Medical Records for Social Security Disability and SSI Cases




 
Applicants filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI benefits can help to speed the disability determination process along by gathering their own medical records and submitting them along with their initial application, rather than supplying only the required medical history.

Not only will the disability examiner appreciate the fact that the applicant saved him or her time tracking down the records from sources listed on the medical history, but he or she will also be more likely to give priority to the case in which medical records are supplied. A disability examiners’ job performance is judged by the number of cases closed within a given evaluation period.

Of course, if a case looks like it will take less time to complete examiners are more likely to work on it first so that they can have as many closed cases as possible on record when they come up for evaluation.

While it is definitely in an SSD/SSI applicant’s best interest to gather their own records at the initial social security disability application stage of consideration, this task is best left in the hands of a qualified legal representative, either a disability attorney or non-attorney claimant’s rep, if the case is being appealed.

This is because, at the appeal level, it becomes necessary to focus on why the case was initially denied; i.e., what may have been lacking in the medical evidence, and what is needed to prove disability as defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Someone with a background in Social Security administrative law will generally know how to best frame a case so that it meets the SSA definition of disability, and what records are most relevant to the case.

Also, physicians and clerks at medical facilities are more likely to respond quickly to a request for medical records when it is made by a legal professional rather than a patient. This is not really news to anyone—people respond to authority because it suggests the possibility of consequences if they do not.

Given the fact that statistics show claimants with legal representation are as much as 50 percent more likely to be awarded benefits from a disability judge, it only makes sense to make sure that you obtain legal counsel and put your attorney or legal rep in charge of your case, including gathering your medical records.








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








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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria