Medical Records Are the Key to SSDI Benefits Approval

Calendar Icon Updated February 21, 2019
Social Security Disability

Along with your work history, medical records and evidence of your disability are the make or break documents in getting your claim approved.

Therefore, it’s vital to know which medical records are the most important and how you should approach the presentation of those records to Social Security.

The disability examiner is primarily concerned with only one thing, and that is whether or not your condition is permanent, meaning it will last at least one year or more or result in death, thus preventing you from performing the type of work you normally do to earn a living.

Keeping this in mind, the only way the examiner has to approve your deny your disability assertions are through the review of your medical records. Those medical records must come from an acceptable source that includes licensed physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists and other related professionals. Others, such as massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and so forth are not considered acceptable medical resources.

To help strengthen your claim, it’s best to see a specialist in the field of your disease or illness. For example, if you have chronic back pain, it will help your cause if you see a spinal specialist or a doctor who specializes in pain management. Make sure that your submission also includes, x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, or the results of any medical tests you’ve had. Visits to mental health specialists who are treating you for depression or other mental illnesses related to your condition are also important in helping to substantiate your claim.

Prior to submitting your SSDI claim, it’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor to see if he or she will support your claim that you are disabled. In some instances, your condition will make it obvious, but in other cases, a doctor who is not sympathetic to your condition may work against you. If your physician is unwilling to help you in this regard, it might be best to look for one who will.

After you have made your doctor aware that you intend to file a claim, make sure that they complete a Residual Functional Capacity form. This document will tell the disability examiner the extent of your disability and what functions you can do given your current state. In many instances, because this form is less complicated than trying to interpret medical records, it can be extremely helpful in proving your claim.

Eligibility Team

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