New Medical Evidence for a Pending Social Security Disability Claim
If you need to take advantage of the Social Security Administration's disability benefits, you are required to provide proof that your ailment meets the Administration’s definition of "disability." This proof typically takes the form of medical records and lab results that demonstrate the severity of your condition and your inability to perform work.
In some cases, new medical information will present itself after you have already submitted a claim for disability benefits. Since the application process takes several months, it is not unusual for a follow-up doctor's visit or additional testing to reveal something else, or for new symptoms to appear during this time. This new medical evidence needs to be provided as quickly as possible to ensure it is considered before a decision is reached.
When this occurs, you need to gather all the additional documentation you have and either take it to your local Social Security office or mail it to your local office. However, your state Disability Determinations office is where the medical determination of "disabled" is made. If you have a pending SSD application and your case has been assigned to an Examiner in this office then you should have received a letter with the Examiner’s name, address and telephone number. If your case is at this stage you should provide new medical evidence to the Examiner. If you do not have the medical records evidencing the new tests or diagnosis then the Examiner can request your medical records from the doctor you specify and will add that information to your pending SSD application. It is important to submit this information as quickly as possible, since any new documentation could create a delay in evaluating your application, or result in it not being considered before a decision is reached.
You also need to submit new medical evidence in the event your original application is denied. In this case, you will need to appeal the decision in a timely manner which includes the requirement that you complete an Adult Disability Report – Appeal. The best way to get your appeal approved is to include as much new information as you can. This includes documentation and information regarding the follow-up doctor's appointments and any lab work you have had done since you first applied (or your last appeal). One of the most common reasons for a claim to be denied at an appeal is the lack of new supporting information. If you submit the same evidence that was denied originally, you will likely be denied again. You should be continuing to see your medical providers for your disability during the processing of your claim so there should always be additional information supporting your condition.
Since the Social Security Administration denies approximately 65% percent of the initial disability applications it receives, it is vital that you provide all the information you have to improve your chances of approval. It is just as important to update the Social Security Administration with any new information you receive during your pending claim, as it is to provide complete information with the initial application.