Today I'm going to explain why your medical documentation is important to your social security claim. Years ago, a claimant could go before an Administrative law judge, explain why they couldn't work, call some witnesses and get Social Security Disability. Nowadays, this is just not true. Your medical records are very important for a number of reasons:
- they will document your underlying medical condition(s);
- they will document your diagnoses;
- will document your treatment, medications and whether you have any functional limitations; and
- will document whether you have have followed your doctors' treatment recommendations.
Because your medical records are so important, the kiss of death to any disability claim are gaps in treatment. Long gaps in treatment, hurt your credibility so much that you may not want to consider filing for disability until you can show a history of consistent medical treatment.
Think about it! You're in front of the Judge testifying that you are not able to hold any job because of your medical problems. The Judge asks you the last time you saw a doctor for this medical problem? And you say, 10 months ago. In the Judge's mind, she is saying, how can you have such a pressing medical condition that stops you from working when you don't even go to the doctor to get treatment?
Medical Documentation & Listings
The most straight forward way to qualify for disability is to meet a Listing. I say that meeting is a listing is straight forward because the Social Security Examiner will go through your records and see if the specific findings that support a listing are within your records. Most of the time, the Examiner will not have any wiggle room with the Listing Criteria so the decision can be made solely on your records.