Dropping Off Medical Records at the Social Security Office for a Disability Case
I was reading the blog of Tomasz Stasiuk who has a social security disability practice in Colorado and is on my blogroll and list of representatives. In this particular post of his, he made reference to a posting written by California Disability Attorney Geri Kahn (also on my blogroll and representative list).
Ms. Kahn stated the following: "I recently was at an interview in one of the field offices in San Francisco and the claims representative told me that he could not accept the records I was submitting because he was only permitted to fax 15 pages to the state agency disability examiner."
I'm a former disability examiner not a social security field office claims rep but I've been told that, just as in California, they stick to this odd policy in the social security offices here in North Carolina as well.
Obviously, it makes little sense to send just 15 pages of a person's medical records to disability determination services (where disability cases are evaluated and decisions on them are made), especially if the medical records amount to hundreds of pages.
However, this is--I'm told on good authority--why this typically happens: A person shows up at a social security office (either a claimant or the claimant's disability attorney) with a large, or even huge, stack of medical records. And then they ask that the records be copied for the claimant's file.
Voila! Next we have the policy of only faxing the first 15 pages of records over to the state disability agency (DDS a.k.a. disability determination services).
The next question is why? Well, from the social security administration's point of view, their employees do not have time to copy hundreds and hundreds of pages of records. And from what I know of the workloads at social security offices, they really don't have time to do copying for people who walk in with a mass of medical records.
So, how does the claimant or the claimant's attorney get around this? Very easy. If you plan to drop off medical records at a social security office, make a separate copy yourself for the social security office to have, rather than show up asking them to do it, and then keep a copy for yourself. This way, social security can simply send all of the medical records you've dropped off to the state disability agency instead of telling you that they can only fax over 15 fifteen measly pages----because when they tell you that they can only fax over 15 pages (read between the lines), this is their way of saying they have better things to do than copy records for everyone who decides to bring in piles of records for copying.
Which, let's be honest, makes perfect sense. If social security employees had to spend time copying records for every claimant or attorney who walked through the door, they wouldn't have to time to work on cases. Makes sense right?
So, to reiterate, if you plan to deliver medical records to the social security office, don't expect them to make a copy while you wait and then return the original copies to you. Because they simply won't do it. Instead, make a separate copy for them before you get there and solve the problem on your own. And by doing so, you can ensure that the disability examiner who will be working on your case will actually receive all the medical records you wanted them to get in the first place.
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