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What evidence do you need to qualify for SSDI benefits?

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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are a social safety net for working adults. If you suffer an injury or develop a condition that affects your work or your independence, SSDI can help.

Obviously, the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to deter people who don’t truly need SSDI benefits from claiming them. When you apply, you will need to submit documentation that proves to the SSA that you qualify for benefits.

The standard for qualification depends on how long the medical condition will last and how serious it is. Provided that your condition will persist for 12 months or longer and will directly impact your independent living skills or ability to retain a job, you might qualify for SSDI. You will need evidence that shows that your condition meets those criteria.

Medical documentation is the gold standard for SSDI claims

Your medical records will play a major role in your claim for SSDI benefits. Diagnostic test results, X-rays showing the degeneration of your spine and imaging tests that expose hidden soft tissue damage could all play a role in your claim.

Actual test and diagnostic results aren’t the only records that can help you get benefits. Reports and written statements by your primary care physician and any specialists involved in your treatment could also help. There needs to be enough information about your condition so that the SSA can determine whether you are still capable of working certain jobs or recovering from the condition quickly.

The more thoroughly your medical documentation shows how the condition impairs your function and the more conclusive it is about the long-lasting effect of your diagnosis, the easier it will be for you to connect with the benefits you need.

Those denied benefits can collect more documentation for their appeal

Ideally, you would have all of the necessary medical information included in your initial application for SSDI. However, mistakes and oversights occur. You could also have more testing and treatment occur between when you apply and when you receive a denial letter.

If you do appeal denied benefits, gathering additional medical documentation is often part of that process. The better you understand what medical records you need, the easier it will be to gather the necessary proof for your SSDI claim.