Have you ever wondered what you are going to use to prove that you are disabled?
Evidence for your disability claim is gathered at each level of your claim. The party that is responsible to collect your evidence changes as you claim moves through the Social Security Disability process.
The evidence that you use for your disability claim mostly comes from the doctors that you see for your disability by way of your medical records. Sometimes if you have a favorable doctor, an assessment form can be sent to him or her to fill out on your behalf. There are assessment forms for either mental or physical disabilities. It should be known, that some medical facilities do not allow their doctors to fill out forms. If your facility is one of these don’t worry, your disability attorney will use your medical records to prove your disability. Even with a form, your attorney needs to back up that form with medical documentation (i.e. Medical records). So see the medical records are the key to proving your disability.
As was mentioned earlier, each time your claim is denied whether it be at the initial or reconsideration levels, your evidence should be updated with any new evidence that became available since the last denial. For the initial and reconsideration levels, the Social Security Administration is the responsible party that should be retrieving any medical documentation that you have made them aware of since the last denial. If you have an attorney, keeping them up to date on the medical facilities you are going to along with proper addresses and phone numbers for them, will make getting the information to Social Security much more efficient. Social Security will send out the request for information based on what you and/or your attorney gives them but, might not follow up if information is not correct.
So it is in your best interest to have proper addresses and phone numbers for the places that you get treatment for your disabilities. I always suggest that the client gets a business card from the places that they treat and to put the first treatment date on the card as well. This will give them a timeline to use throughout the Social Security process. When you reach the hearing level if you have an attorney, it becomes that attorney’s responsibility to get all new medical documentation for your claim. It is still your responsibility to keep your attorney up to date with where you are treating for your disability. If you do not have an attorney, then the gathering of medical evidence fall on you when you reach the hearing level of your claim.
So as you can see, your medical records are your main source of evidence for your Social Security Disability claim. Also that at the initial and reconsideration levels, Social Security is responsible to gather your medical evidence for you. But, once you get to the hearing level, either you or your attorney if you have one takes over the retrieval of your medical evidence. This is your claim and you are the person affected when things do not go as planned. So be an active part in your claim, by updating the treating sources as necessary with proper addresses and phone numbers so, that your medical documents can be easily gathered for review by either Social Security or your attorney. This will give you the best chance at a positive outcome to your claim.