Why You Need to Submit Medical Records with Your Application
To receive Social Security disability benefits you must meet the SSA’s definition of disabled. The SSA definition of disability says a person must have a medical condition that:
- has lasted or will last at least one year or will cause death
- affects their ability to work.
Providing the SSA with your medical records establishes evidence of your impairment and how it affects you. Your case’s disability examiner can see that you have sought ongoing treatment for your condition but it has not gotten better. The examiner needs to have a complete and accurate picture of your medical condition.
What Medical Records Do You Need to Submit
The specific medical records you need to submit with your application depends on your medical condition. The SSA has a Blue Book of impairment listings in which they detail the type of medical evidence needed to prove a claim of disability for each condition. Claimants with medical conditions not listed in the Blue Book could still be eligible for benefits.
But, the evidence you provide may need to be more specific.
Medical records and reports should include:
- Detailed information about your diagnosis, prescribed treatment (i.e. medicine or surgery), response to treatment, and prognosis
- The results of laboratory tests (i.e. blood tests, MRIs, x-rays and CAT scans).
- A statement from your treatment provider about your work-related physical and mental ability.
Getting Records from Acceptable Treatment Providers
The SSA prefers medical records from an applicant’s current treating physician. However, records from hospitals, clinics, etc. are acceptable.
Regardless of the type of record, the SSA only considers medical records from “acceptable medical sources”. Acceptable sources include:
- Licensed physicians (MD and DO)
- Licensed psychologists
- Licensed optometrists
- Licensed podiatrists
- Licensed speech-language pathologists
You need to list all your treatment providers on your disability application. The SSA will send them a medical assessment form to complete and retrieve your records from them. It is important that you notify your treatment providers about your disability application so they will be on the lookout for the form. Additionally, you can collect the records from your treatment provider yourself and include them with your application.
If you do not have a current treatment provider, the SSA may send you to a medical professional of their choice to receive a consultative exam.
How a Disability Attorney Can Help You with Your Medical Records
Gathering the medical records you need or waiting for the SSA to collect them can be time-consuming and frustrating. It could also be harmful to your case as you may not request or your doctor may not send the necessary records to prove your claim.
Unlike you and your doctor, a Social Security disability lawyer has a better understanding of what records the SSA requires. A disability lawyer will know:
- how to request documents from your treatment providers
- how to sort through your records to determine what should be included with your claim
- how to prepare the application claim
Brock & Stout’s Social Security disability attorneys have over 20 years of experience helping clients get the disability benefits they need. We can work with you to get the best medical evidence needed to prove your disability claim. Contact us today for a free evaluation and let us see if we can help you.