Medical Records and the Disability Application Process
If applying for disability benefits is something that may be a part of your future, you need to be prepared for a process that can take some time and effort on your part. You need to be ready and willing to do more than filling out a simple online application. One of the steps you will need to be involved with is gathering a summary of your medical records.
This is something you will want to begin before you even take the time to submit your application to the Social Security Administration. This can often seem overwhelming and lead to frustration, especially if you have been battling your medical condition or injury for a significant period of time. Here are a few tips that will help you in the process and information you will want to keep in mind.
You are going to need the medical records from any and all of the doctors and other medical providers who have been involved with the conditions you are currently suffering from. You might consider making a list from the beginning of every appointment and emergency room visit. Put together a list of contact information that will prepare you for any phone conversation. Be sure to have the correct times and dates of the visits, and which doctors you saw. You may even want to list any nurses or health care providers who were a part of the visit.
Make sure that you are ready for the “hurry up and wait” process. These situations can take time, giving even more reason to begin the process as soon as possible. Be prepared to make more than one phone call to every medical office or hospital where you have had a doctor’s visit. All though you do not want to be pushed around or ignored, keep in mind what could be taking place at an emergency room or doctor’s office. It’s not necessarily a matter of your records not being important as much as there may be a medical emergency that takes priority in your non-emergency situation.
Also, be aware of the fact that there is often a fee involved with obtaining these records. Because of the fact that federal laws do not have a limit on what can legally be charged, the amount varies from state to state. Knowing this upfront can take away from the frustration of an unexpected charge.