Applying for Social Security benefits with medical records

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2020 | Social Security Disability

People in New Jersey may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits because they have a disabling condition that restricts them from returning to their old job or starting a new one. Whether they suffered a severe accident or developed a disabling illness or condition, they are unable to bring in an income, and SSDI benefits may be a lifeline. Still, applicants often face a very difficult time obtaining approval for disability benefits, even if they suffer from severe medical conditions. Many people face an initial denial of their application only to be approved later on at a disability hearing.

Part of the problem that applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits face may be the nature of the application process. Applicants provide their physicians’ information in order for the Social Security disability examiner to review their medical records. Medical records are an important part of the process for people seeking disability benefits, but they often do not match precisely what examiners want to see. They contain detailed information about symptoms, diagnoses and treatments. They can confirm that an applicant has a disabling diagnosis. However, they may not provide information about how that diagnosis affects an applicant’s ability to work.

For example, medical records rarely show how long a person can sit, stand or walk. They may not detail the types of functional limitations prioritized in an application for SSDI benefits. At the initial stage, disability examiners rarely reach out to physicians for more detailed information on limitations. Later at a disability hearing, however, claimants may be able to present a letter from their doctor with additional evidence.

Social Security disability benefits are often essential for people to live their lives, but the application and approval process can be challenging. A disability attorney could help a client to navigate the process and pursue a successful outcome.

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