If you are struggling to get benefits from the Social Security New Rochelle NY system, our disability lawyer may be able to help you. Medical evidence is the primary factor the Social Security Administration looks at when determining your eligibility for benefits. Your medical records are necessary to support your claims of pain and other distressing symptoms. Your medical record must include records of your symptoms made by your treating medical professionals.
Below, we discuss what to expect when you get a Social Security disability medical records request. To learn more about what type of medical evidence the SSA will consider, contact a NY disability lawyer at Hermann Law Group, PLLC today.
Social Security Disability Medical Records Request
Your medical records must include the date of onset as well as the location of your symptoms and the nature of their occurrence. Include any aggravating factors as well as the duration and frequency of your symptoms. It is necessary to give the judge a thorough understanding how how your symptoms present and how they affect your everyday activities.
Your adjudicator may compare the information in your medical record to the information in the rest of your file. Over time, a record of treatment should show either success or failure. If you have demonstrated attempts to seek effective care over time, your claims of distress will appear more genuine to the judge. This means changing physicians and treatment plans if there was no sign of effectiveness. Persistent attempts to find new medical solutions, whether by getting a referral to specialists or adopting a new type of therapy, demonstrates a history of distressing symptoms and a willingness to find a solution that works.
Your statements may not be seen as credible if the frequency of your treatment is not consistent with the amount of pain or discomfort you claim in your file. In this case, the judge may determine that you did not sufficiently seek an effective source of treatment and are not eligible for benefits. Our Social Security Hudson NY attorneys may be able to help you determine your eligibility.
Types of Medical Evidence the SSA Will Review
There are several types of medical evidence that a Social Security disability medical records request might entail, including:
There is a special weight put on currently treating doctors by the SSA. Your currently treating providers tend to know more about your medical history and give more detail about your conditions. Treating providers may be more persuasive than doctors that you see only one time.
Your treating providers can complete medical assessment forms from the SSA. This medical evidence will be important as the SSA makes a determination about your disability. Your doctors can also write a letter to accompany your records. The letter should discuss your abilities and conditions. If your doctor does not want to cooperate with you as you move through the disability process, you should talk to a Social Security Disability attorney.
You may have been treated at a hospital on an emergency basis or for specialized tests and procedures. These records are also a type of medical evidence that will be reviewed by the SSA. You should provide the following information to the SSA so they can gather all hospital records on your behalf:
- Name and contact information for each hospital
- Dates of service
- Names of treating physicians
- Type of tests or procedures completed
- Medical record number
Many medical conditions are diagnosed based on laboratory tests and other types of medical tests. When you submit a disability claim for many conditions, the SSA will specifically look for certain types of tests. For example, if you have coronary heart disease, the SSA will look for a stress test, an angiogram or other imaging, and ECG results. You should make sure you list all tests you’ve had completed by your medical providers.
Medical Evidence From Consultative Exams
The Social Security Administration may ask you to attend an exam with a consultant. This routine request can give the SSA a different perspective. The examiner will review all of your medical records and also examine you in person.
Typically the SSA will select the doctor to perform a consultative exam; however, you can request that your regular doctor perform the exam. If your treating physician is unqualified to perform the exam or doesn’t have the needed equipment, then SSA may select someone else.
You can use the consultative exam as medical evidence in your Social Security disability medical records request. Any information they find in the consultative exam can be transferred to other medical providers and given to the SSA as evidence. Oftentimes, the consultative exam will weigh heavily on the disability claim.
Types of Medical Records the SSA Will Accept
The SSA will review all of the records that you send; however, only certain doctors are qualified to assess your disability according to the SSA. It is possible that some of your medical records would be discarded and not considered if your medical provider was not qualified.
Acceptable medical records may come from the following:
- Physicians who are licensed
- Psychologists who are licensed
- Optometrists who are licensed
- Certified or licensed speech therapists
- Podiatrists who are licensed
- Records from accredited hospitals, clinics, and health facilities
Unacceptable medical records may come from the following:
- Massage therapists
- Yoga instructors
- New age medicine providers
Age of Medical Records
You should submit all relevant medical records to the SSA, regardless of age. However, the SSA will use all records to assess your current conditions. Thus, if records are not relevant, they may confuse the SSA examiners or add unnecessary information that complicates your diagnosis.
If you have a disability that quickly progresses, your older medical records may not present an accurate picture of your current condition. You should provide up-to-date records that discuss your conditions as they current affect you.
Older records may also support your claim if they show a slow progression over time. You may be able to show the beginning of your condition through the point of disability. If your condition has remained unchanged for a long period of time, that may also support your claims that you are unable to work. Older medical records can give the SSA a broad view of all of your conditions.
Providing Sufficient Medical Records
Your main concern with a Social Security disability medical records request should be providing a complete picture of your conditions to the SSA. That will include sufficient medical records over a period of time and from all of your treating providers. A simple diagnosis is not enough. Your medical records should also show tests, treatment, and results of exams. You may ask your doctor to include a prognosis in your records as well as treatment goals. They should indicate whether or not you are following your treatment guidelines and taking recommended prescriptions. If your doctor is not keeping detailed records, then you may ask a disability attorney to suggest a new treating physician for you.