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Full medical records improve your chance for SSD benefits

The Social Security Administration requires a significant amount of information before they will approve a claim for Social Security Disability benefits. 

If you are preparing to apply for SSD, make sure you are able to submit your complete medical records that prove that you cannot work for a year due to your disability. 

Medical records for a physical impairment

  • Physical Residual Functional Capacity, or RFC form 
  • Letter from your doctor containing diagnosis, onset date and explanation of symptoms that limit your ability to work 
  • Complete medical records along with treatment notes 
  • Assessment records and confirmation that you need medical equipment such as a walker or wheelchair 
  • Treatment notes from doctors including clinical observations, prescriptions and any side effects 

Medical records for a mental impairment

  • Mental Residual Functional Capacity, or RFC form 
  • Psychiatric evaluation or neuropsychological test results 
  • IQ test results for before and after the onset of disability 
  • Your files from the Pennsylvania vocational rehabilitation program 
  • Caseworker or social worker assessments showing how well you function 
  • Any letters supporting your claim for SSD benefits from caregivers, nonprofits, etc. 

Costs for medical records

Certain information related to your physical or mental impairment is free. This includes records you probably have at home, such as results from blood tests, x-rays or MRIs. You may also have printed records from purchasing prescriptions; but if not, you can get copies from your pharmacist. For complete medical records, however, you must contact your doctors and prepare to pay the cost for making copies. Make sure you check with all the medical professionals who have treated you. Their reports, written diagnoses and treatment records will be essential when you file your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.