When you apply for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will want to see the medical records that back up your claim.
Providing the SSA with complete medical information about your physical or mental impairment will help to move your claim along in a timely manner.
Gathering documents related to a physical impairment
If your claim concerns a physical impairment, your doctor should sign a Physical Residual Functional Capacity or RFC form. In addition, you will need:
– A letter from your doctor with diagnosis, onset date and how symptoms limit your ability to work
– Your complete medical records, including treatment notes from specialists
– Assessment records if you use medical equipment such as a wheelchair or walker
– Your doctor’s treatment notes explaining any drug side effects
Gathering documents related to a mental impairment
Your therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist can sign a Mental Residual Functional Capacity or RFC form to go along with the following:
– Your files from a vocational rehabilitation program
– Caseworker or social worker assessments of your ability to function
– Letters from caregivers or nonprofits that will help with your claim
– Psychiatric evaluations or neuropsychological tests
– Pre- and post-disability IQ test results
Working with healthcare providers
You can allow the SSA to collect medical records on your behalf. However, it will likely take months for various doctors and others to respond. The process will go much more quickly if you do the work of contacting your healthcare providers. You will have to pay for certain records, but you can also collect free records that include x-rays, blood test results and printed prescriptions from your pharmacist.