If you applied for Social Security Disability benefits or filed for reconsideration, then the claims examiner is the party responsible for obtaining your medical records. However, the process is different if you request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). In this case, you would be responsible for obtaining your medical records. If you have an attorney, you can give them legal permission to access the records on your behalf.
There are certain types of medical records you will need to obtain for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Medical records are essential for showing that you currently suffer from a disability, or that you will continue to suffer from one in the future.
Be sure to obtain both old and new medical records related to your disability. You should also go through records associated with your disability claim case to determine if you will need to pull additional records for the hearing. Try to find any records that might be missing.
In addition, you must submit these records within a specific timeframe. Failing to do either of these tasks could jeopardize your ability to obtain benefits. For this reason, you should obtain the necessary medical records before your hearing.
You will need medical records for the hearing, so it is important to obtain them beforehand. Fortunately, the office that conducts the hearing will give you more than two months’ notice before the date of the hearing. This should provide adequate time to obtain the records you need.
In addition to records associated with your disability, you should also try to obtain statements from your physician. Statements are going to be valuable during the hearing and will complement your other records. Your doctor’s statement should be very detailed and should discuss specific work duties your disability prevents you from performing.
In addition to a statement, you can also ask your doctor to fill out a residual functional capacity form. You should ask your doctor to fill this out several weeks before your hearing because it is very detailed and could take him or her a while to fill out.
Remember, one of the main reasons used to deny disability claims is a lack of medical records. The more records you can obtain and the more information your doctor can provide, the better your chances are of receiving benefits.
This is also a major reason you should consider speaking with a disability attorney. An attorney can help secure the necessary documents and can even represent you during the hearing before an administrative law judge.
Ultimately, the judge will decide whether you receive benefits. An attorney knows how to present the evidence and which documents are most important.
Remember, medical records are often the sole deciding factor in many disability claims. Making a mistake, even a minor one, can rob you of your ability to obtain the benefits you need to maintain a decent standard of living. An attorney can help avoid filing errors and knows which records will help make the strongest case.
At Troutman & Troutman, P.C. our Tulsa disability attorneys have decades of combined experience helping with disability claims, including preparing for administrative hearings. To learn more about how we can help with your potential case, give us a call at (918) 265-1404. You can also schedule an evaluation by using our online case review form.
“(My disability lawyer) was professional and very knowledgeable. She explained how Social Security determines eligibility in a way that was understandable. She and her staff were quick to respond to emails or phone calls. She won an appeal of a denial of disability benefits for my son. I highly recommend if you need help with a Social Security matter.”