How to Handle Your Records (In the Ideal World)

13710475261.jpgIf you have not yet applied, here’s some great advice from someone who used to work at Social Security as a Disability Examiner. That’s the person who makes the decision about whether you are disabled when you first apply.

This advice is kind of a Disability Examiner’s fantasy. Like, “Wow, my life would be so much easier, and my job would be so much better, and I could approve so many more people if everyone did it this way.”

Don’t worry if you can’t do it this way. In the real world, not everyone will be able to. But if you can pull it off, it can work.

Here’s the advice:

Before You Apply

  • Obtain copies of your medical records first and give them to Social Security when you turn in your application.
  • Obtain all records for at least one year prior to the time your condition first prevented you from working.
  • Obtain all records from medical doctors, psychologists, hospitals, and any other place you have received treatment.

After You Apply

  • Call your disability examiner and find out what records are still missing from your case.
  • Go to the treatment source and obtain copies of the records yourself and mail or fax them to your disability examiner.
  • Be sure to clearly mark your name and Social Security number on any records that you send in.
  • Be sure to make a follow-up call to your disability examiner to make sure that he or she receives your records.
  • If you have an additional hospitalization, medical tests, or other treatment while your case is still pending, be sure to call your disability determination specialist and let him or her know about it.

Does it Work?

When I meet people who were approved in six months or less, I always ask them: “What did you do to get approved so quickly?” 90% of the time one of the biggest things they did was collect and submit all their own records from the beginning.

Plan A

If you are doing it this way, be sure to collect your full medical records, do not send what you see online on your patient portal. How to Collect All Your Medical Records (Keyword: All)

Plan B

Don’t worry if you are not able to do it this way. Remember, this is just a fantasy. In the real world, most people let Social Security collect their records. If you are living in the real world, it’s super great if you can Check Your File After You Apply

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