Sample Medical Summary Reports for Social Security Disability

Art: Robin Mead

Medical Summary Reports are a tool developed by SOAR (a program that assists people who have mental illness and are homeless or at risk).

Sadly, SOAR is not available in all areas.

Happily, you do not need to be in a SOAR program to use this tool, because SOAR is kind enough to share all their training tools and samples for free on their website. Some of our readers have found that they are able to use the model of Medical Summary Reports with their own doctors, Case Workers, or Social Workers to help get approved.

Medical Summary Reports

Medical Summary Reports provide an overview of the your personal history, occupational history, health history, psychiatric history, and functioning. These reports are often created by case workers. Ideally, they are also co-signed by the applicant’s doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Medical Summary Reports are used by the SOAR program for people with a history of Serious Mental Illness, but they can be adapted for other conditions as well. Here’s were you can find an outline: SOAR Medical Summary Report Template

How Peggy Helped Her Son Get Approved in Twelve Weeks

Peggy is a devoted mom who wanted to help her son break free from a cycle of homelessness, hopelessness, and inappropriate incarcerations.

After reading this page and learning about medical summary reports, she began gathering materials for her son’s application. Her son was approved for disability in three months. Here’s where Peggy shared her story to help others: Peggy Gets Approved Using a Medical Summary Report

Sample Medical Summary Reports

Other Options

Medical Summary Reports are commonly used for people with a diagnosis of Serious Mental Illness. If you have physical illness, a Medical Summary Report can be adapted, or you may find these useful:

Working with a Social Worker or Case Worker

If you have a Social Worker, Caseworker, Therapist, or Counselor willing to help you, you might ask them if they would be willing to assist with creating a medical summary report. If you don’t have a Social Worker and want one: How to Get a Social Worker

Most Social Workers and Caseworkers are not trained in techniques for improving disability applications, and they may have never prepared or seen a report like this before. If they are willing to work with you and interested in learning more, you can show them some examples.

Please note: A report created by someone not in the SOAR program would not be considered a SOAR report and should not include the words SOAR. You might also find it helpful to look at this Medical Summary Report Template

Getting a Doctor Co-Sign

If your report is completed by a Social Worker or Case Worker or Counselor, it is very helpful if you are able to bring the report to your doctor and request she review and consider co-signing the report.

A co-sign can come from a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist. In some cases, it can be a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant. The doctor can either co-sign the report or review it and write a brief statement stating if they agree with the report’s findings and information presented.

Getting a co-sign from a doctor is part of the SOAR model. It is used by non-profits and mental health agencies running SOAR programs throughout the country, and they have had a very high success rate using this technique.

Why is a co-sign important?

It’s because of a special Social Security rule. Social Workers and Case Workers and Counselors are not considered Acceptable Medical Sources by Social Security and a report may not be treated given the same level of consideration if it is not co-signed (The report could still be helpful, but it could also be dismissed or outweighed by other evidence).

Learn more about How to Get a Co-Sign. Here’s a sample of a letter SOAR uses when requesting a co-sign Sample Letter to Physician Requesting Co-Sign

Submitting Your Report

Your perfect, amazing report will not help you if the person making the decision at Social Security never reads it. It is tragically common for records to be lost, misplaced, or put in the wrong person’s file. Even if you have a lawyer or Social Worker assisting you, your important records can go missing from your file. This has happened to many of our readers. Here’s How to Submit Records. After submitting records, you’ll want to make sure they actually got to the person making the decision. Here’s How to Check Your Social Security File

Learn More

SOAR works with people who are homeless (or at risk) and have a mental illness diagnosis. How to Get Help from SOAR.

SOAR also provides a free case manager training that anyone can take online: SOAR Training

This page also includes a Social Worker Disability Assessment Form and more tips for: How to Get a Social Worker to Help with Your Disability Application

Updated January 2019. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.

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1 thought on “Sample Medical Summary Reports for Social Security Disability”

  1. Thank you so much for all this help. I have severe type I bipolar, generalised anxiety disorder and CPTSD. I’ve spent MONTHS looking for a pyschitarst to fill out mental RFC form, only to find out from your website, any MD or LNP can co-sign!

    I’ll be seeing my therapist on Tuesday and ask her to fill it out and then write me a mental summary report. She saw the RFC form and was about to do it and realised she doesn’t have the licence for it. However she is on board with my disability claim and said she would write a letter as well.

    Now I have to ask my doctor to write a letter for me as well or fill out the physical RFC form.


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