How to Document Your Disability

Submitted by rsg on

Many disability benefit claims are denied due to a lack of medical evidence. This is why documenting your disabling condition is important for your claim. The sorts of documents required by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are medical reports from your treating physician with your diagnosis, treatment and recovery time, results of tests and the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) report conducted by your physician which assesses both your physical and mental functions caused by your disability.

How Do I Know What Documentation I Need?

As long as you can find your medical condition in the SSA’s Blue Book the listing will tell you what you need to show that indicates your medical condition is severe enough for you to qualify for disability benefits. The section in the listing should go over different requirements and even tests/results/etc. that you need to show to qualify for benefits.

What Are Some Medical Documents That I Might Need?

The types of medical evidence many people may need include treatment plans provided by your doctor, x-rays, MRIs, test results, prescriptions, doctor’s notes and notes from other specialists.

What Other Documentation Will I Need?

You may also need to complete an Adult Disability Report. This is completed on form SSA-3368 and provides information about you the applicant and may be completed online after completing the Online Disability Benefit Application. As well as providing contact details you will also need to list all mental and physical conditions which will include any learning or emotional problems that limit your ability to work.

Applicants are normally approved based on a combination of mental and physical health conditions. You should list each condition separately and use your own words where possible, particularly for health issues that are not necessarily linked to your formal diagnosis such as persistent headaches, chronic back pain and stomach aches.

If your diagnosis is cancer, you should include both the type and stage, as you may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance. You may need a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment if you are filing an appeal, or if your condition cannot be found in the Blue Book.

You may be asked to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as the following:

  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns for last year;
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had been involved in military service before 1968;
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the USA;
  • Medical evidence that you have available such as your medical reports, doctors' reports, and recent test results;
  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth;
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers' compensation-type benefits you have at some time received.
  • An Adult Disability Report that reveals more details about your illnesses, injuries or medical conditions, and your work history.

Get Help with Your Disability Claim

The SSA never makes it easy to qualify for disability benefits so you should seek help from a disability attorney who may help to ensure you have provided the right documentation before you file your disability benefits claim.

Get a Free Case Evaluation Today.

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