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TIP #3: Provide copies of current medical records from doctors and hospitals.

If at all possible, obtain copies of your current medical records to submit with your application. The emphasis here is for complete records and current records, current being within the last three months. Notes from your doctor stating that you are disabled are of little use to the evaluators, as that is a conclusion reserved for the Commissioner of Social Security. The kind of records that are of most use are the actual lab reports, x-ray reports, EKG reports and tracings, breathing tests, CT scans, MRI scans, and any information obtained from your doctor?s actual examination of you. We need to know how and why he came to the conclusions that he did. If he feels you are disabled, we need to know what he used to come to that conclusion. So, if you can get copies of all these records, it will help move your claim along immensely. The same goes for hospital records. Any of these within the past year may be of use to the evaluator. Records of visits particularly for the problems you are alleging disable you are of the most interest, but it would be best to get more than you may need and let the evaluator decide if it is enough or too much. Hospitals are particularly good sources of records of tests and x-rays, and you are entitled to copies of these records. You may be asked to pay a small fee for copying, so it is up to you to decide if the fee is worth the possible savings in time processing your claim. Remember, this is your disability claim, and the evaluators are there to assist you in processing the claim. If you want to be sure some evidence is considered, it is really your responsibility to be sure it is in your file prior to the decision being made.

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