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 when I first applied?
- You should be able to request a copy of your case file on CD. These CDs will include all your records plus a few more things you may find interesting. Sometimes these CDs work out great, and other times people find them confusing or hard to open.
- If the CD does not work out for you, you can try calling Social Security and asking for the contact information for the person or office handling your file right now. Then call and see if there is someone there who is willing to talk with you to go over the list of what records are in your file.
What records are 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.
- You can compare your list to what is on the CD or you can ask the person who is handling your case if they are willing to review your list with you and tell you which items are in your file.
- Make sure to look for any specific documents that are important to you. For example, if you have an important letter or rfc form from your doctor.
- If it has been a while since you first applied, it may be helpful if you can check and confirm dates. Sometimes they will have records from your doctor from six months ago, but nothing current.
- If you discover that Social Security has your old doctor’s records, but not the most recent ones, or if you have taken any more recent tests, it can be a great help to get the new materials.
How am I going to get any missing or new records to Social Security?
- If you discover missing or incomplete records, you can collect them yourself if possible, or you can work with a lawyer.
- Social Security often does not collect your records at this point, but if you cannot get the records yourself, you can certainly try asking.
- If you want to try asking Social Security to collect your records, you can try submitting a written, signed statement saying something like this: “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 below” If you’d like to be extra official, here’s a little statement form you can use. Make sure to keep a copy.
- If you are sending records or statements in to Social Security, here’s your Handy-Dandy Guide to Submitting Records
If You Have a Lawyer or Representative
Your lawyer should be able to help you with collecting your records. However, there are no guarantees in this world. Many people with lawyers still wind up with missing medical records. If you collect records yourself, it is recommended that you submit these records through your lawyer, so you do not double submit things.
Your lawyer should be able to tell you which records they have submitted. This still won’t tell you what is in your file at Social Security though. Your lawyer cannot access your file electronically at this point. They know what they sent in, but they do not know any more than you do about what happened next.
Great job checking on all your records. Please come take a look at these other Golden Rules of Records