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Applying for disability with limited medical records

California residents who have applied for Social Security Disability may be concerned about leaving the search for their medical records in the hands of a disability examiner. It can be unclear to many applicants what could happen if the examiner is unable to locate all of the necessary records pertaining to their cases. The answer can vary depending on the circumstances, and it can change how an applicant's case is addressed.

If the disability examiner is unable to locate the records that show that the applicant was treated for a specific condition, the examiner may schedule a consultative examination (CE). In other cases, if the examiner does not locate current medical records that are up to date, a CE can also be scheduled. In order for a Social Security Disability benefits decision to be made, the government requires current medical records that reflect the applicant's condition at the present time. This means that the information used by the government must not be more than 90 days old in order to prove that the limitations recorded continue to prevent the applicant from working.

In addition, the disability examiner must also be convinced that the applicant's impairment will not resolve or improve sufficiently within a year in order to enable them to return to work. In some cases, people meet the Social Security Administration's criteria for disability, but are denied because the examiner believes they will recover soon from a temporary condition.

A lack of medical records can have a negative effect on a claimant's application for Social Security Disability benefits. A disability attorney can work with a disabled applicant to ensure he or she is providing the most detailed information possible and has up-to-date medical treatment. As the process continues, an attorney can work throughout the process to present a strong claim for much-needed SSD benefits.

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