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Electronic medical records coming to more disability claims

Part of the application process for Social Security disability benefits is providing medical records. When applying for Social Security disability benefits, it is important to understand the requirements for eligibility and know what is required as part of the application process. The Social Security Administration recently partnered with a major medical care provider in a neighboring state for the electronic transfer of medical records, with the patient's consent, for purposes of Social Security disability applications.

The health care system the Social Security Administration most recently partnered with is one of the largest in the United States and serves greater than 2.8 million outpatient patients annually. The Social Security Administration has entered into several similar partnerships over the past several years and plans to continue expanding the program with high volume healthcare providers.

The medical records will be transferred securely once patient consent is provided and will allow the Social Security Administration to receive medical records within minutes or hours. The electronic process will save both time and cost compared to the more traditional methods of submitting medical records which can take weeks for the Social Security Administration to receive via mail, fax or secure website. In addition, medical records can oftentimes be incomplete and this process may also minimize delays that arise from incomplete records.

A representative for the Social Security Administration noted that the process is both safe and efficient and will significantly shorten the time it takes to make a disability determination for benefits which can be a long and lengthy process normally. In general, to qualify for disability benefits, the applicant must suffer from a physical or mental medical condition causing disability that prevents them from working and that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death which is why accurate and complete medical records are such an important part of an application for disability benefits for disabled individuals to understand.

Source: Cecildaily.com, "Social Security collaboration makes disability process more efficient," July 24, 2017

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