Why So Many Medical Records?

The importance of medical documentation cannot be stressed enough in Social Security Disability law. Without medical records, attorneys find themselves at an immediate disadvantage to efficiently do their job. When speaking with clients, we at HCM, presume they are giving us all the information that they know of regarding their disability. However, even the most reliable person would still be required to provide medical documents in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) regarding their alleged impairments.

When a person is experiencing a severely debilitating disorder, such as severe depression, it is likely that a listing argument can be made. More specifically, a Disability Evaluation Under Social Security-Listing of Impairments- argument. When these listings are met, it is an easy way for an ALJ to determine a person deserving of SSI, DIB, or Concurrent benefits under the Social Security structure. However, it is nearly impossible to obtain a favorable decision through a listing argument if no medical records are present supporting the alleged diagnosis. As mentioned before, severe depression can use listing 12.04 Depressive disorder. This particular listing requires that several medical characteristics be met. Without medical documents stating these necessary elements, a person can never be found disabled by an ALJ and be awarded any form of benefits via a listing argument.

Obtaining medical records can be a strenuous process, but as mentioned before, is of the utmost importance. Having doctor appointments, and getting check-ups, not only allows your disability attorney to do a better job, but also informs you of your medical condition. Ideally, your medical issues will alleviate themselves through treatment, and you will be able to return to work. If this doesn’t occur however, then having these necessary records allows for your attorney to advocate for you in the most zealous way possible.  Why so many medical records? So that both you can receive the most beneficial help available to you.


By Alec Rolain

Written by Jennifer Mrozik

Jennifer is a partner in the firm and practices exclusively in the area of Social Security disability law. She continues to lead efforts to find solutions for clients in the sometimes difficult Social Security claims process.

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