The fate of your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) claim rests entirely on your medical records. These records hold the key to determining whether you qualify for disability benefits.
Once you submit your application for disability to the Social Security Administration, it is passed on to the Disability Determination Services (DDS). At DDS, a disability examiner is assigned to review your case. Their job is to assess your disability by studying the information in your medical records. The examiner may only meet or speak with you during this process; they rely solely on what your medical records reveal.
Even if your previous medical records indicate a disability, you still need up-to-date records to support your claim. Outdated records won’t be enough to convince an examiner or judge to approve your disability.
If you want to obtain a statement or a form called an RFC from your doctor to support your claim, there might be a challenge. Your doctor may hesitate to cooperate if they haven’t seen you recently.
How to Maintain Consistent Medical Records
Even if you lose your medical coverage, it’s essential to keep up with regular doctor appointments. If necessary, you can consider visiting a free clinic, county health department, or emergency room. While these options may not be ideal, they are better than having no medical care.
Another often overlooked tip is the significance of taking your prescribed medications as directed. If an examiner notices that you have stopped taking your prescribed medication, they might mistakenly assume you are improving.
Sometimes, if your medical records are outdated or do not cover all the impairments listed in your disability application, you may be asked to undergo a consultative exam. These exams are paid for by the DDS and conducted by a doctor contracted by them. The purpose of a consultative exam is not to provide treatment but to update your disability records. If you are asked to attend one, attending your appointment is crucial, as failure to cooperate could result in a denial of your application.
Regardless of your disability, having good medical records is crucial for winning your disability case. Aim to see a doctor at least every two months, and remember to take your prescribed medication.
So, How Far Back Does Social Security Look at Medical Records?
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses your eligibility for disability, they delve into various types of medical evidence. These include mental health records, results from diagnostic tests, bloodwork panels, physician exams, and reports from scans like MRIs, CAT scans, and X-rays. These records paint a picture of your health and help the SSA decide.
To ensure a thorough evaluation, the SSA prefers to have a 12-month medical history of an individual. This means they look at your medical records from the past year. For records to be considered current, they should be less than 90 days old. However, in some cases, the SSA may need to examine medical records that go back several years, depending on when the person became disabled. Recent and older records can play a role in the evaluation process.
Consult a Social Security Disability Attorney
Experience the winning difference with Jorgensen Law! Join the ranks of the thousands we have successfully guided through their disability cases, and let us help you claim the benefits you deserve. We are relentless in our pursuit of success, exploring every avenue until victory is achieved. Our unwavering dedication has led to a remarkable 90% success rate in obtaining benefits for our clients.
Don’t hesitate to take action! Contact us today and schedule a consultation to discuss your Social Security Disability case. Reach out to us today. We are here to support you every step of the way. Choose Jorgensen Law, where your disability claim becomes a triumph.