A medical report is a comprehensive report that covers a person’s clinical history. A medical report is a vital piece of evidence that can validate and support your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.
Ideally, your medical report should be completed by a doctor or medical professional who is familiar with your condition and who has treated you for a significant period of time.
What is Included in a Medical Report?
Your medical report should prove that you have a specific condition that is severe enough to keep you from working and earning a living. The medical report may include, but is not limited to the following items:
- Laboratory test results
- Medical images
- A history of your treatments
- Your response to treatments
- Documentation of any medications you take or have taken since becoming disabled
- Documentation of your diagnosis
- An overview of your medical history
- A history of hospitalizations
- Findings of physical and mental examinations
- Statements confirming your limitations and abilities<.li>
Starting Your Application
The report must be completed by a reputable medical source approved by the SSA (i.e. licensed physicians—medical or osteopathic, podiatrists, optometrists, licensed or certified psychologists or speech pathologists).
Under HIPAA, you have the right to view and receive hard copies of your medical records from your doctor. It is best to request your medical records from your doctor as soon as possible. This is because it can take up to a month for you to receive them.
Depending upon the hospital or doctor’s office, you may be charged a fee to receive copies of the records. Typically this is only to cover the cost of copies and, if applicable, postage. However, this does not include the cost of any additional tests that must be run.
For example, requesting your records may cost a nominal fee. But, if you wish to include an updated x-ray in your application, the cost to perform the x-ray will be dependent on your medical insurance. It is important to speak to your doctor directly about the cost of receiving a medical report.
It is important to note that if you do not include a medical report in your application for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will attempt to collect your medical records for you—free of charge.
However, you will not know which records ended up in your file until you receive your approval or denial and often, it will take the SSA much longer to collect the documents than it would take you.
If you can afford to pay the doctor’s fees, it may be beneficial to collect and send your records yourself. This may minimize your wait time and you can ensure that all relevant documentation is seen by the SSA.
Talk to a Social Security Lawyer
If you are thinking about applying for Social Security benefits, you may want to seek the counsel of a Social Security lawyer.
The will be able to help you gather all of your information from your medical report and will help you give you the best chance of winning your case so you can get the benefits you deserve.