Medical Documentation Required For SSI Application

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a type of disability benefit that provides money that can be used for living or medical expenses if someone cannot work because of a medical condition. When you apply for SSI, you will need to submit medical evidence showing that you qualify for disability benefits before your application can be approved. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has unique requirements for every condition that qualifies for SSI that must be met before your application will be approved. 

Blue Book Listing Evidence 

All of the medical conditions that qualify someone to receive any type of disability benefits from the SSA are listed in the Blue Book. Every listing in the Blue Book has a set of requirements that you must show the SSA that you meet in order for your application to be approved. Medical evidence of your condition as well as your inability to work is required by the SSA. 

For example, if you are applying for SSI because you have vision loss, you would need to submit vision tests, doctor’s reports, and acuity tests that show you have:

  • Loss of central visual acuity (2.02) – this Blue Book listing covers loss in your central field of vision and requires you see no better than 20/200 in your better eye.
  • Contraction of the visual field in the better eye –This listing requires reports of your visual field, which is the distance in all directions from the fixed point on which you’re focused. That diameter must be no greater than 20 to 30 degrees.
  • Loss of visual efficiency, or visual impairment- must have vision in your better eye that is no greater than 20/200 when wearing corrective lenses.

In general, no matter what condition you have that make\s it impossible for you to work. you will need to show the SSA that you have medical evidence proving you meet the listing requirements of the condition you have in their Blue Book. Blood tests, biopsies, and other tests are good medical evidence. So are MRIs, X-rays, PET scans, and any other type of medical scans or images. 

Other Evidence

You can also submit other evidence that shows you can’t work. If you don’t have enough medical evidence to show that you meet the listing requirements in the Blue Book or if the condition that you have isn’t listed in the Blue Book, you can submit a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) that explains why you cannot work.

An RFC is a form that your doctor must fill out for you. On this form, your doctor can explain, in detail, what exactly your symptoms are and how they make it impossible for you to work in their own words. For example, if your condition makes you prone to dizziness, your doctor can describe how that dizziness can make it dangerous for you to try and use public transportation or stand up at your job. You can also submit doctor’s notes from different doctors if they are treating you for other symptoms or conditions. 

What Doesn’t Count As Medical Evidence? 

When discussing the medical evidence and documentation required for your SSI application, it is also just as important to discuss what does not count as medical evidence. 

The medical evidence you submit to the SSA to prove that you meet their requirements needs to be from an acceptable medical source(s). Acceptable medical sources include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Certified medical professionals
  • Certified midwives or birthing assistants
  • Licensed eye doctors
  • Licensed audiologists

In addition to the sources in the list above, other fully licensed or accredited medical professionals can count as acceptable medical sources as well. In cases of mental illness, psychologists, licensed counselors, and other mental health professionals are considered to be acceptable medical sources. 

Get Help With Your Claim 

If you are not sure if your medical evidence is enough to support your application, or you want advice from an experienced disability attorney, fill out a Free Case Evaluation form on this page to get personalized help and advice from an experienced disability lawyer.

Additional Resources

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