Longitudinal medical evidence refers to medical evidence covering a significant period that documents the claimant’s medical history. In developing the record, we are particularly interested in key parts of this history:
Whether there is sufficient objective medical evidence establishing one or more medically determinable impairments (MDI);
The duration of the claimant’s MDI(s) and response(s) to treatment;
The severity of a claimant’s MDI(s) and resulting functional limitations; and
The alleged onset date (AOD); the potential onset date (POD); and, if the medical evidence establishes disability, the established onset date (EOD).
Generally, we develop medical evidence for at least the applicable 12-month period. For more information on the applicable 12-month period, see DI 22505.001A.3. (initial claims); DI 28030.020 (continuing disability reviews); and DI 23570.020 (age 18 redeterminations).
However, in order to make fair and accurate findings about the key issues listed above, we sometimes need a longitudinal view that extends beyond that provided by the standard 12-month period of development. The following subsection discusses these circumstances.
REMINDER: Adjudicators may discontinue development when the evidence is consistent and sufficient to make a fully favorable determination. For more information, see DI