If you are planning to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, your medical records will be essential to support your claim.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires proof that your injury or condition meets the SSA definition of “disabled.”
Medical records and your claim
In order to gain SSA approval for disability benefits, you must prove that your injury or condition prevents you from working for a year. The SSA looks for “objective medical evidence” provided by an “acceptable medical source” to verify that you have a disability. With your permission, the SSA can collect medical records from your doctors. However, if you take on this task yourself, the SSA review process will go much faster.
Physical impairment form
A Physical Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form includes a signed letter from your physician. This should include the diagnosis for your injury or condition, onset date and symptoms that limit your ability to work. Your complete medical records and the doctor’s treatment notes should accompany the form.
Mental impairment form
If you have a mental disability, your psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or counselor can sign the Mental Residual Functional capacity (RFC) form. Accompaniments should include:
- Information from your social worker or caseworker as to how well you function
- Your vocational rehabilitation program files
- Psychiatric evaluations
- Neuropsychological test results
- IQ test from before and after the start of the disability
- School records regarding disability accommodations, if applicable
You may have to pay a fee to obtain certain copies of your medical records. However, you can also obtain free records such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. Ask your pharmacist to provide printed prescription drug records. Once you have collected all the available records, your attorney can help you submit your claim for SSD benefits to ensure the application is complete.