If you have received treatment, we will ask for your medical evidence. This includes copies or photocopies of medical records, doctors' reports and recent test results. Your treatment records are used along with other information to see if you meet our definition of disability.
We need information about your medical treatment for any illnesses, injuries or conditions that limit your ability to work. If you already have copies of your medical evidence in your possession from your doctors, hospitals, clinics and other medical sources, we will not have to request them. This will allow us to process your claim faster. DO NOT DELAY FILING YOUR CLAIM IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS EVIDENCE IN YOUR POSSESSION. Instead, we will ask the medical sources you list to send them to us. If you have not received treatment, or we do not obtain enough evidence about your condition(s), we may ask you to go to a special examination at our expense.
We also ask for information such as:
- What are your illnesses, injuries or conditions?
- When did they begin?
- How do they limit your activities?
- What did medical tests show?
- What treatment did you receive?
In addition, we ask for information about your ability to do work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, lifting, carrying, and understanding and remembering instructions.
We do NOT ask your doctors to decide if you are disabled.
For your convenience, we can accept uncertified photocopies of your medical evidence. We will return all documents and photocopies unless you specifically tell us otherwise. If you have the documents we need, you should submit them as soon as possible. If you don't have all the documents, you should submit any documents you do have. We will help you get the other documents. Do not delay sending your application while gathering evidence. If you do, you may lose benefits.
Note: If you mail any documents to us, we must have your Social Security Number so we can match them with your claim. Please write your Social Security Number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with your documents. Do not write anything on your original documents.
If you do not want to mail your documents or photocopies, you may bring them to the Social Security office where they will be examined and returned to you. Or, if a later office visit becomes necessary, you may bring them with you at that time.