Medical Evidence Of Your Condition
For Social Security purposes, medical evidence is required to prove your mental and physical condition which results in your being unable to work. At the least, at your initial interview with Social Security you will need the information listed next. It is helpful to also have a copy of the noted Medical Records and a statement from your doctor(s).
Background To Help Understand The Information Requested By Social Security
When thinking about what documents to pull together, it may be helpful to understand the reasoning behind what Social Security asks for.
In order to obtain SSDI, your health condition must be verified by medical evidence that consists of symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings:
- Symptoms: your description of your physical or mental impairment
- Signs: changes in your body, or mind that can be observed apart from your statements about your symptoms
- Laboratory findings: conditions that can be shown by the use of medically acceptable laboratory diagnostic techniques.
- Medical opinions: a opinion by an "acceptable medical source". Acceptable medical sources generally include licensed physicians, licensed or certified psychologists, licensed optometrists for visual situations; licensed podiatrists for situations relating to the foot or ankle; and qualified language pathologists for matters relating to speech. See What The Doctor Should Include In A Report.
Information About Medical Providers Social Security Will Want
For every doctor, HMO, therapist, clinic or hospital that may have medical records or other information about your physical or mental health conditions, Social Security will want:
- Phone number
- Patient I.D., if you know it
- First Seen
- Last Seen
- Next Appointment
- Reasons for visits (which can be a general statement)
- What treatment was received
Medical Records To Review When Applying For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
From your various medical practitioners, obtain copies of all your medical records since the earlier of the Onset Date or the last 12 months.
- Review each record with your doctor(s) to make sure:
- Every symptom, infection, pain and complaint is thoroughly documented -- including mental aspects such as depression.
- Results of all tests are included.
- That the notes state how the symptoms affect your ability to work and to engage in your normal daily activities (this becomes critical for Social Security's determination about whether you're "disabled" in their definition.
- That the notes about these subjects are legible. If you can't read them, neither can the people at SOCIAL SECURITY.
If any of your medical providers balk at giving you copies of your records, see Medical Records to learn about your right to a copy of these records.