All Disability. All The Time.

What type of medical evidence does SSA need?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Supplemental Security Income |

When you file a claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA) for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you know that you’re going to have to prove that you’re actually disabled – and that means giving SSA a lot of medical evidence.

What does that actually mean, however? It’s only natural to have a lot of questions. Here is some information that may help:

Will a letter from your doctor do it?

A letter from your primary care physician that states that you’re disabled and gives details about your limitations can help your case – but it won’t automatically make SSA approve your claim. The definition of what it means to be “disabled” is up for debate, and your physician’s definition and SSA’s definition may not match up. You’ll still need to provide medical records to back up your claim, no matter what your doctor says.

How far back do your medical records need to go?

When you file for SSDI or SSI, you’ll be asked to estimate when you became disabled. This is your alleged onset date. Once established, it controls a number of different variables involved in your disability claim. In general, you want to make sure that you provide SSA with medical information that goes back to at least that date or a little before. 

Should you include information from every doctor you have?

If you don’t give SSA enough medical information to establish your disability, your claim will be denied – so it’s tempting to give them everything. However, you don’t want your claims file stuffed with irrelevant information. That can make it easier for the important records to get overlooked and your claim longer to process. If you’re disabled due to a heart condition, your podiatrist’s or dermatologist’s records probably have nothing to do with your disability – or your claim.

Most people who file for SSDI or SSI can benefit from legal guidance. That’s the best way to avoid simple mistakes that can lead to erroneous denials.