Best Practices SSA: Obtaining Accurate Medical Records for SSDI
Applying for disability benefits can seem like an impossible task at times. Suffering from a debilitating condition only enhances the complexities involved in the Social Security Administration’s application process.
If you have been diagnosed with a disabling condition and are seeking disability benefits, SSDI or SSI, then you should apply for the compensation you deserve. However, this is a tedious process and requires more than simply being diagnosed.
Why You Need Medical Records for SSDI
For the SSA to even consider evaluating you for disability benefits, you must be diagnosed with a qualifying disability, such as the disabilities listed in their Blue Book; this book is simply a reference guide for all eligible disabilities.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) works a little differently than Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI is similar to an insurance program-- hence its name. The principle of this disability benefit is that you have paid for it and your taxes have been taken out of your paycheck.
In addition to being diagnosed with a qualifying disability, your condition should have lasted at least one year or is expected to last at least one year. The physical or psychological effects of your condition must drastically impair your ability to work. The Social Security Administration is not likely to approve your case unless you can show how it affects your inability to work which would reduce your quality of life significantly.
Being able to provide sufficient medical documentation as evidentiary support for your disability and inability to work is essential for the Social Security Administration to approve your application.
Obtaining Your Medical Records for SSDI
The Social Security Administration requires you to provide sufficient and reliable medical documentation of your disability. Acceptable and valid records that the SSA will accept can come from licensed physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists while chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists documentation won’t hold as much meaning to the SSA examiner.
Your licensed medical professional will need to document your symptoms, and if you can, try to see a specialist rather than your family doctor. A specialist enhances the integrity of your medical records and documents.
The type of documentation to include can consist of notes and results from:
- ER visits or clinics
- CAT scans
- Lab tests
- Psychological evaluations
If you feel comfortable with your medical professional, tell them that you are planning on filing for SSDI, and if they could include the following:
- When the symptoms from your condition started
- The state of your current disabling condition
- The prognosis of your disability--whether you can expect improvement, stagnation or for it to worsen with time
- Complete an RFC form (Residual Functional Capacity)
A completed residual functional capacity form will help the SSA determine what work capacity you are capable of doing. This is beneficial for you and the SSA since receiving SSDI benefits is based on how your condition affects your inability to work.
Be sure to be highly detailed offering the SSA appropriate contact information to each medical professional’s facility you have sought and received treatment from.
Need Help Filing for SSDI?
If you are suffering from a debilitating condition and are struggling to accurately compile your medical records or even complete your disability application, reach out someone who can help you. Contact a compassionate and experienced disability advocate today to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.