Wouldn’t you like to know what Social Security really thinks about your claim?
The best way to find out is to review your Social Security exhibit file.
Everything Social Security has on your claim for disability benefits is contained in the “exhibit file.” This includes the following:
- Your medical records.
- Your abilities and limitations.
- Your work history.
- The critical dates that decide how far back you can be paid.
- The notes from Social Security’s technicians.
- The reports from Social Security’s doctors.
- And, any opinions Social Security based on the evidence in your file.
Plus, if you have an old paper file (which admittedly is rarer and rare these days), you may even see post it notes flagging what Social Security thought was particularly important.
“But, wait there’s more…”
The exhibit file also contains income summaries and earnings reports, as well as every form you filled out during your application, and possibly your prior files as well.
Why is this important?
If you want to know why you were denied (something more substantial than what Social Security told you in their denial), and what your chances are at hearing, you need to review your Social Security file.
Keep in mind, there is a lot of technical data in the file. There are a number of cryptic forms and abbreviations fly fast and furious.
It really is helpful to review the file with an attorney who can help you spot the critical issues and translate the Social Security-isms.
However, even if you do not have an attorney (although you really should get one), reviewing the Social Security’s medical reports, and Residual Functional Capacity forms (the ones where Social Security says what it thinks you can and cannot do), will give you insight into how Social Security views your case.
This will let you know what you will be up against when you go to the hearing.