How to Check Your File – Reconsiderations

There are three things in this world that you want to know right now:

  • One: What records did Social Security collect when I first applied?
  • Two: What records are now missing from my file?
  • Three: How am I going to get any missing or new records to Social Security?

Here are a few answers:

What records did Social Security collect?

Your denial letter may include general information on what records were considered. However, this won’t let you know specific details. For example, it may say “we considered records from Dr. X” but it won’t let you know that they only got old records and nothing recent, or that an important lab test was left out, or a letter from this doctor was missing from your file.

You can contact your local Social Security office and request a copy of your case file on CD. They will send it to you by mail. Call your local office, not the national number.

🌷 How to Open an SSA CD

🌷 How to Get Your Social Security File

🌷 Reviewing Your File

Tips for Your CD

🌷 The CD will include your medical records, plus information on how the decision was made.

🌷 Some readers found the CD very helpful, while others got CDs that were very disorganized and hard to read or understand.

🌷 Some of our readers report they were able to open the CD on a windows computer, but not on a mac.

🌷 Some readers report that their local office would not release the CD directly to them if it included mental health records. If this happens, you might try resubmitting the request and this time request to have it sent to someone else. It can be a trusted friend or relative. Weirdly, this can work.

🌷 If you are unable to get the CD, then after you submit your Request for Reconsideration, you can try contacting your Disability Examiner and ask if they will go over the list for you of exactly what is in your file.  How to Stay In Touch with Your Disability Examiner

What is still missing from my file?

🌷 It can be helpful to write down a list of all important documents you hope will be there. This might include records from doctors, emergency rooms, hospitals, clinics, etc.

🌷 Look for any specific documents that are important to you. For example, if you have an important letter or rfc form from your doctor.

🌷 Check that records are complete. For example, did your doctor’s office leave out any important lab test results.

🌷 Check that reports are complete. For example, does anything say 5 page report, but only 3 pages appear in the file?

🌷 Confirm dates. Sometimes they will have records from your doctor from six months ago, but nothing current.

How am I going to get any missing or new records to Social Security?

🌷 Learn more about submitting records yourself, and other steps you can take to improve your case: How To Improve Your Disability Request for Reconsideration

🌷 If you want Social Security to collect your missing records, it may help to include a short statement in the remarks section about what was missing, for example: “I have important medical records that are not currently in my file. I am requesting that Social Security please collect and review these records before making a decision. The names, dates, and contact information for these records are: XYZ”

🌷 If you are working with a lawyer, it’s a good idea to still double check directly with your Disability Examiner. Many of our readers with lawyers still wound up with lost or missing records.

Learn More

Here’s an interesting slideshow on Discrediting the CE Report

Your file may contain acronyms and abbreviations. Common Acronyms In Disability Claims

7 thoughts on “How to Check Your File – Reconsiderations”

  1. I am not able to use the link for “Here’s an interesting slideshow on Discrediting the CE Report”…. can someone send it to me?


  2. I called both the toll free number and my local social security office today to ask for my file, and both employees i talked to seemed confused about my request and said that they can’t release that information to me. I’m not sure how else to know what additional information to give if i don’t know what records they already have?


    1. The national number does not have employees who are trained in most policies and rarely gives helpful information. If your local office could not help you, ask to speak to a supervisor who will know more.


  3. I tried to get a copy of my record from my local office. I mailed in the form they needed to release the CD to me and everything. I called the office to check on the status of my CD, and one of the “top dogs” was almost confused about my inquiry….as if no one had ever asked him about this sort of thing. He made me feel like I was asking for something completely unreasonable…He then read out loud to me, the same thing that I could read on my denial letter. He said these are the reports that they received. And that was the end of the call. He said that they do not send out CD’s and it would be very, very expensive for me to pay for a paper copy of my report.


    1. Hmmm… I have never heard of this happening.

      You might try asking for the name and contact information for that person’s supervisor and asking them.

      You could also contact your congressperson’s office and ask for their help. Let them know SSA is refusing to release a copy of your file to you and ask if they can call the office for you.

      It would be helpful if you have proof you made the request – either by certified mail or submit it in person and get a receipt.

      Hope it works!


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