Along with several forms and paperwork required by Social Security, an individual is responsible for obtaining and submitting all medical records relevant to their case. These medical records include all medical appointments and treatment within the time frame an individual alleges their disability began. These appointments include orthopedic care, psychiatric care, eye care, and other conservative treatment such as chiropractic care, holistic medicine, or acupuncture. Overall, medical records are crucial to any Social Security disability case.
Medical records are important at every level of an individual’s disability claim. The records are considered and reviewed by Social Security at both the initial consideration and reconsideration level. Additionally, if a claim has been denied at both initial and reconsideration level, the applicant should request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Medical records will play a major role at the hearing. If an individual has a representative, the representative will rely on these medical records to prepare for the hearing. Additionally, prior to the hearing, the administrative law judge assigned to the case will review these records to understand the conditions and issues in the case. A judge may also refer to specific comments in these medical records to discuss at the hearing.
Overall, it is important to have all the medical records for the relevant period up until the day of the hearing. If an individual has a representative, it is vital they stay in touch with the firm to report additional medical visits or treatments they may have prior to the hearing. This will ensure the records will be requested in timely manner.