One of the most difficult aspects of pursuing a successful disability claim with the Social Security Administration is the requirement that you submit adequate medical evidence to prove that your illness or injury prohibits you from gainful employment or fulfilling the basic duties of self-care on a daily basis.
Any given diagnosis will have a range of severity depending on unique factors such as the age of the individual, their overall health, other medical conditions they may have and the lifestyle they lead. In order to make a fair and reasonable determination about someone’s eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits, it is necessary for the administrative law judge (ALJ) reviewing the case to understand the true medical impact of the diagnosis.
The ALJ handling your case will need to carefully and thoroughly review the medical records that you submit in support of your claim. What many people don’t realize is that there are rules in place that mandate that applicants provide all medical evidence to the judge at least five days prior to their hearing.
Sending evidence to the judge gives them a better idea of your circumstances
Even if it were not a requirement to provide the judge in your case with medical records days before your hearing, doing so is simply common sense. The more time that an administrative law judge has to review your symptoms and claim, the better they will understand your circumstances and the reason you need to apply for disability benefits.
Particularly for those who have an unusually debilitating case of a condition that is typically less severe, adequate time for evidence review is of the utmost importance. Having your records in hand means they will be ready to send as soon as you know the date of your hearing.
Working to obtain evidence early is ideal
While medical offices and hospitals now have digital records that are easier to access and obtain copies of than physical records which might be housed in a different location, there are more rules than ever about the release of medical documentation. Nothing happens quickly when it comes to the world of medical record-keeping, which is why anyone applying for Social Security Disability benefits will want to begin collecting evidence as soon as possible.
Don’t wait for the courts to set a date for your hearing before you start getting copies of important diagnostic and medical records. Instead, take action as soon as possible so that you will have everything you need in hand well before you head to court for your formal hearing in front of an ALJ.
There are many rules and requirements involved in the disability application process that the average person may not understand or know about beforehand. Knowledge of those rules and an understanding of what evidence and paperwork are necessary is one of the main reasons that people who need disability benefits often choose to work with attorneys. A lawyer experienced with the Social Security Administration’s processes will know how to navigate the application and hearing on your behalf.