Obtaining Medical Records for Social Security Disability Claims

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Social Security Disability Claims Rely on Medical Records

By Kathleen Overton

Attorney, PLF

Medical records are vital to a Social Security disability claim. Not only do they document each impairment, but they help the Social Security Administration formulate limitations used to determine whether the claimant is disabled. Perhaps equally important is ensuring that the agency has a complete medical record when making a decision. It is not enough to have only most of the specialist records or a few hospitalizations. Each piece of medical evidence gives the agency more and better information from which to make a decision. There are a number of ways a claimant can help insure that the file is complete in a timely manner.

How You Can Aid in the Social Security Disability Claims Process

First, tell someone about the missing records. If represented, a Social Security disability claimant can rely on the representative to obtain the medical records. If not represented, the judge at the hearing has a duty to develop the record and obtain all the medical records. Nothing can be done, however, unless the representative or the judge knows about the medical records. It is often easy to forget every evaluation that occurred, so keeping an accurate list is important. Typically, the agency or the representative does not need each treatment date, but does need to know where to send the request. As the agency implements rules to improve efficiency of hearings, obtaining medical records as soon as possible is a necessity. Having a prepared and accurate list for reference once the hearing gets set will help insure that the hearing proceeds smoothly.

Second, bring your records to your representative or agency. Generally, representatives would prefer to request the medical records to be submitted. The primary reason for this is that the representative has a duty to submit all relevant medical evidence. Without obtaining the records directly, it is unclear if that is every available record. Nonetheless, any record is better than no records.

Contact Parmele Law Firm for Assistance in Social Security Disability Claims

Obtaining and submitting medical records in a timely manner requires communication. Whether represented or attempting to navigate the system alone, communicating all your medical treatment is essential to a Social Security disability claim. A representative can help insure that the record is complete. If interested in help obtaining and submitted all relevant evidence, contact an experienced disability attorney at Parmele Law Firm as soon as possible.