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If someone asks for a copy of their Medical Summary Report, do you give them a copy ?


If someone asks for a copy of their Medical Summary Report, do you give them a copy ?


  • The short answer is "yes." If someone asks to see their Medical Summary Report, you can provide it to them in the same manner that your agency would release a copy of their medical records to them.

    However, there are some other factors to keep in mind.  Since the MSR focuses on an applicant's symptoms and functional limitations rather than their strengths, we recommend talking with them first to explain that the report is written in this manner to demonstrate how they may be eligible for SSI/SSDI and that SSA needs to see numerous examples of their limitations. Remind them that they have a lot of personal strengths and that this report is not a full reflection of that.

    It is important to speak with the applicant throughout the process in order to alleviate any concerns about what information will be included in the MSR. One best practice to establish transparency and trust is to ask permission on the first interview to take notes. Tell the applicant that at any time they can ask you to stop taking notes or to see what you are writing.  Emphasize that your goal is to capture their words so that they can tell their story to SSA through this process.  Ultimately, the MSR is comprised mainly of their quotes and information they have provided to you.

    Reading about one's symptoms and limitations can be very difficult and through this conversation applicants may find that they aren't prepared for that or that it would not be beneficial for their recovery. But, if after this preparation, the applicant wants to read the MSR, then that is their right to do so, following your agency's guidelines.