At the threshold of every Social Security disability case are the medical records. Even the most sympathetic examiner or ALJ needs the medical evidence to estabilish an applicant’s disability. Social Security has an obligation to develop the file (the “record”), by obtaining medical records, even if you do nothing to provide them. However, Social Security is underworked and does not have the capacity to keep following up to obtain records. Requests are lost, put at the bottom of the pile, and often when the records come in, critical parts of it are missing. If you want to be proactive, and make sure all records are obtained and are complete, you can obtain them yourself and, in Connecticut, there is no charge by providers for supplying copies of those critical records.
In Connecticut, medical providers must provide the medical records in connection with a Social Security disability claim without charge and within 30 days. This is governed by Connecticut General Statutes, Sections 20-7c(d) and 19a-490b.
Other states have different laws with regard to furnishing the records.