SSA Issues Final Regulations on Submission of Evidence

 

On Monday April 20, 2015, the Social Security Administration’s new final rules on the submission of evidence in disability claims will be in effect.  The final rules amend the regulations on “Evidence of your impairment” (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1512 and 416.912 and the “Rules of Conduct and standards of responsibility for representatives” (20 C.F.R. §§ 404.1740 and 416.1540). 

It has always been the claimant’s responsibility to provide SSA with copies of medical evidence to support an application for disability benefits.  These new rules are meant to further clarify what constitutes “relevant” evidence and the responsibilities of both the claimant and his/her representative in submitting this information in a timely manner to SSA for all disability applications.  

Some of the updated language in this new regulation includes the following:

•       Claimant’s must inform and/or submit to SSA “all evidence known to you that relates to whether or not you are blind or disabled.”  There are two exceptions: (1) material subject to the attorney-client privilege, and (2) the representative’s “analysis of the claim,” This includes favorable and unfavorable evidence. 

•       The primary duty to inform or submit evidence to SSA falls to the claimant, however, the new rule also imposes a specific duty on representatives to “act with reasonable promptness to help obtain the information or evidence that the claimant must submit under our regulations.”

•       SSA will consider itself “informed” if the claimant or his/her representative provides information regarding new evidence on all application and appeal forms, if such evidence is not already in the claimant’s possession.  If knowledge of new evidence becomes available throughout the life of the claim, this information needs to be sent to SSA as an update.  Whenever a claimant or representative is in possession of the evidence, it must be submitted to SSA.

•       Duplicative evidence or that which does not pertain to the claimant directly does not need to be submitted.

 

To review a full copy of public comment and these new rules, you may go to the Federal Register at:  http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/retrieve.html / Vol. 80, No. 54 / Friday, March 20, 2015 / Rules and Regulations/ p 14828 - 14838. 

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Categories:SSA Final Rules