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Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld

Relentlessly Protecting California Workers' Rights Since 1956

What Type of Medical Evidence and Documentation Do I Need to Pursue Social Security Disability Insurance?


At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our Santa Barbara disability attorneys have protected the rights of California workers since 1956 — including those who were unsure what type of evidence and documentation they needed to pursue Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) successfully.

Here, we list the medical evidence and documentation types necessary to pursue SSDI benefits.

What Medical Evidence and Documentation is Required to Pursue SSDI Benefits?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) relies heavily on medical documentation to determine an individual’s eligibility for benefits.

This is why it is crucial to provide comprehensive and compelling evidence to support your disability claim, including:

  • Medical Records

Copies of your medical records, including doctor’s notes, test results, treatment plans, and hospital discharge summaries.

These records should detail your diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment history.

Include your complete medical history, including all prior treatments, consultations, and hospitalizations related to your condition.

  • Doctors’ Opinions

Statements and opinions from treating physicians, specialists, and healthcare providers who can describe the nature and severity of your medical condition, its impact on your ability to work, and the expected duration of your disability.

  • Medical Test Results

Any diagnostic test results, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, blood work, and other tests that support your diagnosis.

  • Surgical Records

If you have undergone surgery related to your condition, provide records of the procedure and post-operative care.

  • Prescription Medications

A list of all prescribed medications, including dosage and frequency. This can help demonstrate the extent of your medical treatment.

  • Therapy and Rehabilitation Records

Records of any physical therapy, occupational therapy, or rehabilitation services you've received to manage your condition.

  • Pain Journals or Symptom Logs

Personal records that document the severity and duration of your symptoms, including pain, fatigue, and other limitations.

  • Mental Health Records

If you are seeking disability benefits for a mental health condition, records related to mental health treatment, counseling, or therapy should be outlined for review.

  • Work History

Information about your work history, including the type of work you performed, your job responsibilities, and any modifications or accommodations you received due to your disability.

Along with the information listed above, we may ask you to provide documents to show that you are eligible, such as:

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States.
  • U.S. military discharge paper(s) if you had military service before 1968.
  • W-2 forms(s) or self-employment tax returns for last year.
  • Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other proof of any temporary or permanent workers’ compensation-type benefits you received.

When submitting your disability claim, provide accurate and complete information.

If you are unsure how to proceed with an SSDI application for benefits or have been denied benefits and would like to appeal the decision, contact our trusted California attorneys specializing in SSDI cases to help you navigate the process and increase your chances of a successful claim.

We have six physical offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and Visalia, and our top-tier technologies provide a virtual reach to serve clients throughout California. We offer free in-person, telephone, and virtual consultations to offer straightforward legal advice for your unique needs.

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