When people apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, the SSA will need to see medical evidence that supports the applicant’s claim. In fact, the SSA considers medical evidence to be the “cornerstone of the disability determination.”
If you decide to file a disability claim, there will need to be medical evidence to support your application. Whenever someone applies for disability benefits, they are responsible for providing the SSA with medical evidence, which shows that he or she has an impairment and its severity.
How Does the SSA Get the Information?
You may be wondering how the SSA gets medical documentation from applicants. With the applicant’s permission, the SSA will obtain medical evidence from the various healthcare professionals who have examined, evaluated, or treated the applicant for their medical condition or impairment. The SSA will also on its own, request copies of medical evidence from clinics, healthcare facilities, and hospitals when relevant.
When an applicant is prompt and supplies the SSA with accurate and complete medical documentation, it will be to the applicant’s benefit because it will help speed up the processing of their claim.
The SSA has to obtain specific medical evidence of an applicant’s medical condition to establish that the person does, in fact, have an impairment. The SSA’s regulations actually require that the SSA obtains “objective medical evidence” from a qualified medical source so it can establish that the claimant does, in fact, have an impairment that meets the SSA’s definition of a “disability.”
Once ‘Impairment’ is Established
Let’s assume the SSA establishes that you do have a medically determinable impairment. Next, it will consider the evidence from both medical and non-medical sources so it can determine how severe your impairment is and to what it extent it affects your ability to work. What types of nonmedical sources does the SSA use? Examples of nonmedical sources include social welfare agencies, family members, friends, neighbors, educational personnel, caregivers, and members of the clergy.