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How Medical Records For Your Disability Claim Can Help

As you navigate the intricate process of filing for Social Security Disability benefits, one key aspect takes center stage – your medical history. It serves as a crucial narrative, not only reflecting the progression of your condition over time but also illuminating the steps you’ve taken to manage and treat it.

Why a Detailed Medical Record is Vital

A comprehensive and detailed medical record is the backbone of your Social Security Disability claim. It provides a comprehensive view of your health journey, offering insights into the nature and severity of your disability. Leaving out pertinent details from this record could potentially harm the strength of your claim.

Ways Your Medical Record Strengthens Your Claim

Documentation of Diagnosis and Treatment: Your medical record serves as an official account of your diagnosed medical condition and the subsequent treatments or interventions you’ve undergone. This provides clarity to the Social Security Administration (SSA) about the nature and impact of your disability.

  • Consistency in Reporting: Consistency is key when it comes to strengthening your disability claim. A well-maintained medical record ensures that the information you provide aligns with your doctor’s assessments, reinforcing the credibility of your case.
  • Functional Limitations: Explicitly outlining the functional limitations imposed by your disability in your medical record is paramount. This helps the SSA understand the specific challenges you face in performing daily activities and, consequently, in sustaining gainful employment.
  • Longitudinal Medical History: A thorough medical record that spans the duration of your disability offers a longitudinal perspective. It reveals how your condition has evolved, providing a comprehensive understanding of its impact on your life.
  • Objective Medical Evidence: The inclusion of objective medical evidence, such as test results, imaging, and specialist consultations, bolsters the credibility of your claim. It substantiates the severity of your condition, leaving little room for doubt.

Can You Charge For Medical Records For A Disability Application?

The good news is that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) places restrictions on how much healthcare providers can charge for providing copies of your medical records for disability purposes. While they are allowed to recover reasonable costs for the labor involved in copying and preparing the records, as well as the supplies used, there are limits to what they can charge.

Under HIPAA, healthcare providers are generally prohibited from charging fees that create barriers to access to your medical records. This ensures that individuals have the opportunity to access their health information without facing excessive financial burdens.

It’s essential to be aware of your rights in this regard. When requesting your medical records for your disability claim, you have the right to:

Receive a Copy: You are entitled to a copy of your medical records. The healthcare provider should provide you with the information in the format you prefer, whether it’s a hard copy or an electronic version.

Know the Costs: While healthcare providers can charge for the labor and supplies associated with copying your records, they must follow state regulations and HIPAA guidelines. Be aware of the allowable charges and ensure you are not overcharged.

Request a Fee Waiver: In some cases, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. If the cost of obtaining your medical records poses a financial hardship, you can request that the fees be waived.

Understanding the regulations surrounding the costs of obtaining medical records for your disability claim empowers you to navigate the process more effectively.

Take Action with Leventhal, Sutton & Gornstein

To ensure that your disability claim is fortified with a robust medical record, consider reaching out to the experienced attorneys at Leventhal, Sutton & Gornstein. Our team is dedicated to supporting individuals in their pursuit of Social Security Disability benefits. Contact us today for expert representation tailored to your unique circumstances.

Remember, your medical history tells a compelling story – let us help you present it in the most impactful way to secure the benefits you deserve.

Posted on January 4th, 2024 by Leventhal, Sutton and Gornstein

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