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What are the evidentiary requirements for proving disability?

By now most of our Los Angeles readers know from previous posts here that meeting the medical requirements to qualify for Social Security Disability can be the trickiest part of the application process. Although you may feel like you know the details of your disability inside and out, sometimes the hard part is explaining the disability to someone else. This leaves many people asking, "Exactly what type of evidence do I need to provide?"

Detailed medical records are crucial. Anyone who is dealing with a disability obviously has to go to the doctor quite a bit. But, it is important to know that in these meetings with your doctor - which often occur well in advance of any application for SSD benefits - the more details you provide about your condition the better. This is because the doctor's records will play a key role in the Social Security Disability application process down the road.

However, some people who are going to these medical appointments aren't even thinking about applying for SSD benefits at that time - they are only thinking about getting treatment so that they can return to the workforce. But then, later on, they realize that they are not able to do some of the things they did before, and that's when they realize they have to apply for SSD benefits.

Fortunately, for those individuals who may not be having the easiest time gathering their medical records, the Social Security Administration can help. While the burden of showing the disability is, for the most part, on the applicant, the fact is that the SSA will assist the applicant, if they are given permission to do so, by contacting the requisite medical care facilities to obtain the documentation they need to process the application.

Source: ssa.gov, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security," accessed on Oct. 19, 2014

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