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Keeping Records & Benefits Qualifications

This article is a based on a thread by The Crisses on Twitter and needs to be made into a real article suitable for this site.

While we don't care whether people have a dx or not — one important thing to do, disabled or not, is get and retain your records. This thread is about benefits qualification & other services if ever you should need it. #ActuallyAutistic #DIDOSDD Going back as far as possible, initiate records requests. You don't have to open the envelopes, but store them all and keep them — or scan them and stash them encrypted in a cloud storage. What types of records?

All of your medical records, tests, assessments, school documentation from pre-K through any uni or training programs. Hospitalization, surgery, psych units, institutions, therapy, counseling, care coordination, special ed programs, IEPs etc. Discharge paperwork, medication history, dental, eye exams, etc.

Why? If you ever need to qualify for disability benefits, developmental disability, housing or MH supports, prove prior ability or disability in a court, etc. Sometimes it's necessary to prove how long something has been going on — or that something has drastically changed in your level of ability or functionality — which you may not realize now. Like we were diagnosed in 1997 with CIDP — good luck getting those records now.

Records retention at institutions can vary. Requesting and retaining your own records will be much easier now than it will be 5-85 years down the road.

When you leave any institution or professional's office, get your records, and keep them for life.

School records in my state must be retained until a kid is 22 or 7 years, whichever is longer. We're lucky some schools still have our 23 year olds' records.

So — younger folk, get those records while you still can!

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