medical records

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you will be asked to provide a wide variety of information. Among the most important types of information are your medical records. These records play an important role in proving your case and increasing your chances of being approved, so it’s important to understand the types of records and evidence that will most help your case. 

Types of Medical Evidence Needed for SSDI Claims

The SSA categorizes medical evidence in three ways: medical opinions, objective medical evidence, and other medical evidence. Each type of evidence plays a critical role in proving your case and helping you qualify for benefits. The SSA will evaluate each type of evidence in order to determine whether you have a medically determinable impairment.

Medical Opinions

The SSA will review medical evidence of all types, including opinions from accepted medical sources. Medical opinions include statements from your sources about the nature of your condition, its severity, and how it impacts your ability to work. These opinions play an important role in supporting your SSDI case, but they aren’t the only type of records the SSA needs to accept your disability claim. 

Accepted medical sources must be licensed or certified by a recognized licensing agency. The SSA’s accepted medical sources include: 

  • Physicians
  • Physicians Assistants 
  • Psychologists
  • Optometrists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Audiologists
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses/ Advanced Practice Nurses/ Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners

Objective Medical Evidence

Objective medical evidence is necessary for a successful SSDI claim because they support the opinions of accepted sources. Evidence such as test results, laboratory reports, bloodwork results, MRI scans give an unbiased look at the nature and severity of your condition. Objective evidence isn’t opinion; it’s fact. That means that you should be sure that you have the correct type of evidence before submitting your application.

Other Medical Evidence

You might have other types of medical evidence that may support your claim that aren’t objective or from an accepted source. In some cases, this evidence can help back up your claim. The SSA may consider evidence from medical sources that aren’t on the accepted list or nonmedical sources like teachers, relatives, or employers.

Get Help From an SSDI Lawyer

One of the most common reasons for SSDI claim denials is lack of medical evidence. Applicants who aren’t familiar with the nuances of medical evidence often think that their evidence speaks for itself, when that is often not the case. Including too much or irrelevant evidence can be just as harmful to your case as including too little. If you need advice from a professional, a disability lawyer can help you sort through all of your medical records and understand what to include or exclude. 

The American Disability Action Group is an experienced law team that specializes in SSDI and SSI cases in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and across the country. Since no two cases are alike, we provide a personalized service to each individual to set the case up for success. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about what we can do for you.