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What is Disability File?

Definition of Disability File

The Social Security Disability file is not an actual "file" but is generally stored electronically. Social Security Disability claimants who want to view the information in their disability file must request a copy of their CD. Copies of disability files can be requested by completing a Release of Information (form 3288) and sending it to the Social Security Administration. Some mental health records may not be released directly to the claimant but may be sent to the claimant's treating physician. Social Security Disability lawyers can request the entire disability record for their claimant by completing form SSA 1686 (which designates a claimant's representative). Claimants may receive one free copy of their CD. Claimants requesting multiple copies will be charged a fee. All Social Security Disability claimants have the right to view their own Social Security Disability file. If a Social Security Disability claimant is arguing their own Social Security Disability case before the Administrative Law Judge it is highly recommended that they request a copy of their disability file and review it to ensure it has all the necessary medical information which is needed to prove they are disabled and unable to work.

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