How Do I Get My Medical and Other Records from Social Security?

This article discusses when you should make a request evidence in your Social Security claim file and how to access your records at Social Security.

When Should You Request Your Social Security Disability Records?

When you apply for Social Security disability, you can submit medical records you have obtained to Social Security so that they can add them to your claim file. You also provide information about your medical history to Social Security so they can obtain other records from your medical sources covering at least 12 months prior to a certain date, such as your protective filing date. See, POMS DI 22505.001.A.3. Social Security may also develop your disability claim by obtaining other evidence, such as information about your functional ability or work history. A Social Security adjudicator has the flexibility to use his or her own judgement to decide whether to develop outside of the 12 month period. See, POMS DI 22505.006.A.2.

While Social Security will help obtain medical and other evidence, it is in your best interest to ensure that all of your medical evidence makes it into your case record. You have the right to access your medical and other records in your claim file so that you can review the sufficiency and relevancy of the evidence. You can submit other evidence to Social Security to add to your file. Having a complete picture of your medical history and functioning is important because Social Security adjudicators evaluate only the evidence that is in the record. If you do not have all of your medical and other evidence submitted, it could adversely affect the decision in your case.

If your initial application for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, then it is critically important for you to review your file and determine if there is any additional evidence not currently in the record that could support your claim. For example, you can ask your treating doctor to provide diagnostic testing or other evidence not currently in the claim file and then personally submit this evidence to Social Security to add to your file. Make sure to keep a copy of any records you have submitted in case they do not reach your file and you need to resubmit them.

Again, it is very important for you to review your file at the time you request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Social Security will have an exhibit list of each item in the file. You will need to know what evidence the prior Social Security adjudicator based their determination. If the determination was made on insufficient evidence, for example, you will have a chance to add critically important information to the record that may likely result in a favorable decision on appeal.

In addition to getting access to your records when you apply for Social Security, you may also want to get your records once you are approved for disability benefits, especially if, for example, your case is selected for a continuing disability review.

How to Request Your Records in Your Social Security Disability File

Requesting access to your medical and other records from Social Security is relatively easy. You can now access your claim documents securely in the Message Center of your my Social Security account. To enable this option, contact the Social Security office where your disability case is pending and request access to the documents in your claim file.

Other options to request your records are to call Social Security’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or either call or write to your local office. You will need to provide Social Security with some personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth and the address to which you want the file mailed.

Once you have requested your records, they will be mailed to you on an encrypted CD. If you do not have access to a CD player, there may be a cost to get printed copies. To access the CD, your “password” is the first 4 letters of your first name (all lowercase), followed by a “#” and then the last 4 numbers of your Social Security Number. For example, John Smith, SSN 123-45-6789 would be, john#6789.

How Long Will It Take to Get My Records From Social Security?

The time it takes to get your records from Social Security depends on the method you chose in your request, Social Security processing time, and, if the records are being mailed, Postal Service delivery time. Usually, you can expect to receive the records within 2 to 4 weeks.

Contact a Disability Lawyer for Help

If you need help with your disability claim, contact a disability lawyer at Cardea Law Group, LLC for a free initial consultation. When we represent you, we will work with you to complete the application for disability and other necessary forms, as well as help you obtain the medical and non-medical evidence you need to prove your claim. We show our commitment by providing you with information, guidance, and support at every step.  Call us at 334-440-6261.

How Do I Handle a Social Security Overpayment?

Take Action to Avoid Being Overpaid

To  avoid being overpaid,  report all changes to your financial, marital, or living situation to Social Security. Also, inform Social Security if your disability has improved to the extent that you are attempting to work.

If you notice a change in the amount of your monthly checks and you did not receive an explanation from Social Security, call Social Security right away to make sure you are receiving the correct amount. 

What Happens When I receive a Notice of Overpayment?

If Social Security has found that you were overpaid, they will mail you a Notice of Overpayment.  The notice will have an explanation of why you have been overpaid, your repayment options, and your appeal and “waiver” rights.

First, check the notice information carefully. Are the dates and payment amounts correct or not? You have 60 days from the date on the notice to act by filing an appeal.  If you request a waiver within 30 days from the date of the notice, Social Security will not start to withhold any part of your benefits. Otherwise, if you do not take action,  Social Security will  take money out of your checks to repay the claimed overpayment amount. 

If you do not believe you have been overpaid or you disagree with the amount of overpayment, you can appeal. The appeal must explain why you believe you have not been overpaid or that the amount of overpayment is wrong.

If you agree that you were overpaid, you can still ask Social Security to waive the overpayment so that you don’t have to pay it back. Ask for a waiver if the overpayment was not your fault, and you cannot afford to pay the money back. Use form   SSA-632-BK to request a waiver. If Social Security denies waiver of the overpayment, you can appeal. 

If you agree that the overpayment was your fault or you can afford to pay it back, you can make a payment arrangement with Social Security to pay the money back a little at a time. That repayment arrangement would be based on how much of your income you need for your basic necessities. 

When you ask for either a waiver of the overpayment or request a payment arrangement, Social Security will require you to complete a financial statement.  You may need to provide some documents to support your financial statement.

Whenever you talk to a Social Security employee, write down their name, the date, and a summary of the conversation. 

How Does COVID-19 Impact My Overpayment?

Beginning on March 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 emergency, Social Security stopped taking actions that could have resulted in a reduction, suspension, or termination of benefits or payments.  Since corrections to benefit payments were not made during this timeframe due to COVID-19, overpayments resulted.   

In an interim final rule, effective August 27, 2020, Social Security acknowledged that it would be against equity and good conscience to collect overpayments made between March 1 to September 30, 2020, and those who did incur an overpayment during this period are without fault. See  If you receive an overpayment notice during this time period, file a request for waiver since Social Security has already stated that a person who had incurred an overpayment during this timeframe is without fault.

Contact a Disability Lawyer for Help

If you get an overpayment notice from Social Security and need help, contact a disability lawyer.

When a disability lawyer at Cardea Disability, LLC represents you, we show our commitment by providing you with information, guidance, and support at every step.  For a free consultation, contact a disability lawyer at Cardea Disability, LLC at 334-440-6261 and visit our website at

What Are Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) and do I qualify?

Childhood disability benefits (CDB) are benefits available to a qualified disabled “adult child” whose disability began before they became 22 years old.  CDB benefits are considered a “child” benefit because they are based on the Social Security Disability Insurance (DIB) record of a parent.  The parent must have earned sufficient credits to qualify the child for DIB benefits.  A parent’s Social Security benefits are not affected by the award of CDB benefits.  The benefit of using a parent’s DIB record for CDB is that the adult child does not have to meet the limited income and resources requirement if applying for SSI.  The CDB benefits will likely be higher than other benefits for which the adult child may qualify.

Requirements to Qualify for CDB Benefits

An adult disabled before the age of 22 qualify for “child’s” CDB benefits if a parent: 

• Is receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or

• Has died and worked enough to qualify for Social Security.

In a CDB case, Social Security decides whether the adult child is disabled based on the rules for adult disability. To qualify for CDB benefits, the adult child must have become disabled prior to age 22.  The adult child must also now be 18 years old or older and not earned income that exceeds substantial gainful activity amounts.  In addition, marital status may affect whether or not he or she is qualified for CDB.  CDB benefits generally end if the adult child gets married, but some marriages, such as a marriage to another disabled adult child are protected.  Qualifying for CDB benefits as an adult child can also be affected by the status of familial relationships.

Medical and other evidence provided to Social Security must prove that the adult child was disabled from medically determinable impairment(s) prior to the age of 22. It is critically important to have the child’s physician clearly document all of the information concerning the adult child’s disability, including objective medical evidence, such as signs and laboratory findings. 

Other Social Security Benefits for which an Adult Child may qualify

They may be eligible for SSI benefits if income and resource requirements are met.  In some cases, a person may be able to get SSI benefits on their own, and also get additional CDB benefits based on the record of a deceased, disabled, or retired parent or guardian. For an adult child receiving SSI benefits, or DIB disability benefits on his or her own record should check to see if CDB benefits may be payable on a parent’s earnings record. 

Contact a Social Security Disability Representative for Help

A Social Security disability representative can assist you with your child’s claim. Contact an experienced Social Security disability representative at Cardea Disability, LLC at 334-440-6261.