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Social Security Disability And Manual Submissions

 Posted on December 13, 2011 in Need to Apply for Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration has been slowly moving to an electronic management system. Few Social Security disability benefits claims are still in a paper format, also known as "paper cases." Documents can be sent to Social Security directly by using an electronic barcode. Social Security disability hearings are often being held in a different location via video conference. An electronic system has overall positively impacted the way Social Security does business by making it a more efficient Administration. However, there is still a human component to the electronic system that allows for routine errors to be made.

I have noticed ever since the Administration moved to using an electronic system that employees routinely fail to categorize documents and upload them correctly. The Social Security district offices receive hundreds of mail a day from claimants and disability lawyers and upload them into their electronic system. Once a claims representative knows that a document is in the system, he or she can be satisfied that the work is done. The problem with this rationale is that many documents have to be manually categorized in the system to be uploaded correctly. One example is the attorney forms that are needed to get "on the record" as an attorney representative for a particular matter. Whether my office sends documents via FedEx or by certified mail, just getting the documents to the Social Security district office does not insure that they were processed and labeled correctly. The documents can sit at the office for months before anyone realizes that an error was made.

The same is true for doctor letters and other medical evidence. My office submitted a doctor letter along with an MRI for one of our clients to the DDS office several months ago through their electronic system. When we received a letter that a consultative exam had been scheduled we called to ask the adjudicator why there was a need for one when we had already submitted treating doctor notes from a while back. The adjudicator then responded, "You know what, I didn't see those records. It looks like they were incorrectly labeled in our system."

For this reason, while it is easy to submit documents to Social Security now that they are using an electronic system, it is still very important to follow through with all documents that you send to their offices. After you send a form to Social Security call the office and make sure that it has been uploaded into their system. Even if you have hired a Social Security disability lawyer to represent you with your SSI or SSDI claim, it is still a good idea to continue to follow through with any documents that you send to the Administration.


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