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Evidence of Disability

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

614. Evidence of Disability

614.1 Who is responsible for providing evidence of disability?

You are required to prove that you are disabled by providing medical and other evidence of disability. However, we are responsible for making every reasonable effort to help you get medical reports from medical sources. All evidence in the your case record will be considered in making any determination.

614.2 What evidence must you submit with the application?

You or an individual filing the application on your behalf may be asked to provide the following:

  1. Names and addresses of doctors and medical treatment facilities;

  2. Dates of treatment and any other information that may relate to your disability;

  3. Any sources of medical evidence supporting your disability;

  4. Information relating to education, work experience, and daily activities both before and after the onset of disability; and

  5. Any other pertinent facts showing the effects of the impairment on the ability to perform work-related functions.

614.3 What responsibility does SSA have in gathering evidence for disability determinations?

We will make every reasonable effort to help you get medical reports from your medical sources. We pay the reasonable cost for existing medical evidence from any non-Federal hospital, clinic, laboratory, or other provider of medical services, if we request it. If the information we need is not readily available from the records of your medical treatment source, or we are unable to seek clarification from your medical source, we will ask you to attend one or more consultative examinations at our expense. This includes necessary transportation costs. Generally, we will not request a consultative examination until we have made every reasonable effort to obtain evidence from your own medical sources.

614.4 What types of evidence do you need to provide if you are filing for SSI for a child?

In an SSI child case, the evidence we may consider includes:

  • Medical evidence;

  • School records;

  • Information from people who can tell us about the child's functioning on a day-to-day basis, such as parents, other caregivers, early intervention programs, preschool and school teachers; and

  • Any information you can give us about the sources of information described in the following that will help us evaluate the child's case.

A parent, guardian, or other individual applying for SSI disabled child payments on behalf of a child under age 18 is ordinarily required to furnish information about the child. This may include the following:

  1. Names and addresses of day-care providers, schools, or other facilities that would have information about the child;

  2. Information about the child's developmental milestones;

  3. Information about the child's ability to do age-appropriate activities in self-care, play, recreation, school, relationships, and family life; and

  4. Any other facts about the effect of the child's condition(s) on his or her growth, development, and maturation.

Last Revised: Jul. 26, 2005

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