If you are going through the process of applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, then you already know that paperwork and documentation are a key part of making your case. The SSA is designed to help Americans, but to do so it has to make tough decisions about about who does, and doesn’t, deserve to receive benefits. Because of this, gathering evidence of your disability is crucial to winning.
What Evidence Should Be Gathered?
It’s safe to say that, when it comes to SSDI cases, there is no such things as too much evidence. While the SSA will provide you with a form to document your medical history, this form is inadequate, and should be accompanied by your own records and documentation. Because every case is different, it can be impossible to make a complete list of everything that you need for your case. However, all the records that you compile need to do two things: 1) prove that you are currently injured or disabled to the point where you can not work, and 2) prove that this disability is not expected to go away in the near future.
What kinds of records show this? At the very minimum, you should make sure to include all records of your doctor and hospital visits, trips you might have taken to the ER, lab results from such things as blood work, X-Rays, or CAT scans, lists of medication taken, therapies, mental health visits such as psychiatrists . . . as you can see, depending on what type of disability you’re dealing with, there can be many different parts to the problem.
This might seem strange, but you also want to include records, if you can, from before the onset of your disability. This can be used to show the contrast between your way of life now, as opposed to earlier.
One thing that needs to be included in every case file, regardless of the disability or injury, however, is a statement from your healthcare provider stating in clear (and honest) terms the nature and extent of your medical condition, your physical or mental limitations because of this condition, and your long-term prognosis for recovery.
How Does the SSA Review the Records?
When your case file goes to the SSA, a Social Security Disability Examiner will look through your file to determine if you qualify for SSDI benefits. This examiner will inspect all of your records before making a determination. While it might take weeks before the Examiner is able to get to your file, once there, the actual review process can be over in a matter of hours.
How Can We Help?
If this seems like a daunting task, don’t worry — LM Summary Services is a team of experienced professionals who will do the heavy lifting for you. Our knowledgeable staff knows what types of records are needed for SSDI cases and how to compile them so they are accurate, thorough and comprehensive. If you need assistance in building your SSDI case, please contact us today!