The process of applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a lot to handle on your own. There are forms that need to be properly completed. There is evidence that needs to be submitted. The Social Security Administration (SSA) must have all of the correct information and evidence it needs to render a decision on your application. Failing to provide the right information or enough information to the SSA will often lead to your claim being denied or at least significantly delayed in being approved. When you are disabled and waiting on SSA benefits, any delay can not only cause a great deal of stress but can also increase the financial strain you may already be under. To help improve your chances of being approved for benefits, you should be aware of the key pieces of evidence the SSA will look to in evaluating your claim. Medical records, for instance, will play a critical role in your Social Security disability case.
The Importance of Medical Records in Your Social Security Disability Case
The importance of medical records in your Social Security disability case really cannot be understated. In order for the SSA to be able to deem you disabled and qualified to receive disability benefits, they must be able to find, based on the medical evidence, that you have a “severe, medically determinable impairment.” The physical or mental condition must be expected to last for 12 months or for the duration of your life and must be so severe that it interferes with your ability to engage in substantially gainful activity.
The medical records you provide to the SSA should document your medical history and include your symptoms and the limitations placed on you by your medical conditions. To help ensure that your medical records provide the right information to the SSA, you should be clear with your treating medical professionals, including physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners, about the details of your medical conditions as you experience them. This means informing them about the limitations and symptoms you experience.
In addition to being important to your own health and well-being, attending all of your scheduled medical appointments is critical to your disability case. The records generated by your appointments will be critical to supporting your application for benefits. Complying with doctor recommendations for treatment, taking medications, attending physical therapy, and getting the proper radiographic studies such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and other lab work done is all important as is following up in seeing doctor recommended specialists.
Social Security regulations themselves state that more weight should be given to the medical opinion of treating sources. These sources hold a lot of sway over the outcome of your disability claim. Be sure that you are consistent in receiving treatment for them and that they include details of your impairments in your medical records.
Do not make the mistake of some claimants who think that simply informing the SSA that you are disabled and unable to work is enough. It is not. This assertion must be supported with strong medical evidence. While your testimony may have some impact in front of an Administrative Law Judge rendering a decision on your disability claim, it will not have enough of an impact without medical records to support what you are saying.
Arizona Social Security Disability Attorney