If you just filed for benefits, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to improve your chances of being approved?
Yes! Get your medical records!
Why should I get my own records? Social Security is supposed to get my records themselves — and that does not cost me anything. Why should I spend my money to get the records myself?
Unfortunately, you probably won’t know if Social Security actually got your records until they make their decision.
While you may have given Social Security the names and addresses of your doctors, AND signed authorizations allowing your doctors to release information to Social Security, there is no guarantee that your records will actually get into your file!
Great advice on why you should get your own records to supply to Social Security. Generally, you can get your doctors to give you the records faster. You (or your attorney) can then supply those records directly to Social Security and confirm that the records were received.
As for cost, most states set strict fees on how much a medical provider can charge for supplying records for a Social Security Disability case. In some states, they must provide the records free of charge. For example, here in Ohio, the patient or the patient’s representative is entitled to 1 free copy of the patient’s medical records. See § 3701.74.1 C(1)(5)
Here is one site that lists all the state laws about medical record fees. Please double-check the current law before proceeding as these do change.