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The Importance of Medical Records to the SSA

THE SSA NEEDS MEDICAL RECORDS AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE CASE

It is paramount that you understand the importance of collecting all of your medical records when you apply for disability benefits. When you first apply for benefits, you should include a copy of your medical records with your application. If you receive a denial, you should make sure the SSA has a copy of all of your medical records. Additionally, you must update all of your medical records prior to attending a hearing.

The SSA has changed the law and states they don’t have to rely on the opinion of your treating physician. They also say they don’t even have to listen to the opinion of their own physician.  Rather, all medical opinions are equal and the opinion that a judge can rely on is the one that is best supported by the medical records.  Even if your doctor writes a letter stating you are disabled, the SSA doesn’t have to give it much weight, unless the medical records support that opinion. In other words, submit all of your medical records as soon as possible.  This includes records of past surgeries.

SUBMIT ALL  RECORDS PRIOR TO THE DEADLINE

The second thing that is important to winning your disability hearing is knowing the submission rules. There are firm deadlines in which to submit medical records. The SSA has issued a rule that all medical records must be submitted five days prior to your hearing and in typical lawyerly fashion, this means five “working” days. So, in actuality, everything must be in the record one week prior to the hearing.

There are good reasons for this rule when the SSA is dealing with thousands of hearings across the nation. It helps the efficiency of the system to have the evidence so the judge and experts can review it. The bottom line is this:  one week prior the hearing is the deadline for submitting your medical records.

If you fail to submit records one week prior to the hearing, the judge doesn’t have to admit them into the record. That means she doesn’t have to consider them. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your records or to give all of your records to your attorney so she can submit them. Prepare in advance and you will have a better chance of winning your disability benefits. Hire Cannon Disability Law to help you obtain the evidence that you need to win your disability case.

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