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

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.

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

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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.