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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

If Social Security Wants You To Update Your File Before Your Hearing

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Aug 09, 2018 | 0 Comments

When your Social Security disability case is pending in the Office of Hearing Operations (OHO), they will send you a series of forms letters. The last one they send before scheduling your case for a hearing (see below) asks that you fill out several pages, detailing your work and medical history. In exchange for you doing this, OHO suggests that they might be able to decide your case without a hearing.

OHO Filing Cabinet

If you get this letter, what should you do?

Simple: throw in the trash.

Three Things To Remember

This advice might seem counter-intuitive. But, it is correct nonetheless. A few things to keep in mind:

1.      It is a form letter. No human being sent this letter after carefully reviewing your file.

2.      No one is waiting for your response to this letter so they can further carefully review your file.

3.      If you are close enough to your hearing to get this letter, you are going to have a hearing no matter what response you make to this letter.

We Will Respond, Not Just Now

When clients call me after getting this update-request letter I tell them that we are going to provide everything OHO has requested. We are just going to do it after the case is set for hearing.  The danger in responding too quickly to OHO is that you give OHO outdated information.  Suppose you send them your doctor's records on August 1st,  Then you learn your case will go before a judge on December 1st.  You now have to get all of those doctor's records for between those dates. 

Medical Records Cost Money

If You Have To Ask, You Can't Afford It

This would be bad enough if it were just a matter of physically getting the medical records. There is also the expense to consider.  Doctors generally want money for their medical records every time you request their records.  Doctors can charge hundreds of dollars, in extreme cases. I don't want to pay that once, let alone multiple times.

Clients worry that if they don't respond to the update-request letter, OHO will delay their case or even outright rule against them.  Neither of these things is going to happen. Nothing is going to happen.

Ignoring things is not often the best strategy. But, when it comes to the OHO update-request letter, you can safely do just that.

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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Feel free to call with any questions or concerns you have about Social Security disability. I never charge for a consultation. In fact, there is no charge at all until we win your case. Unlike most lawyers, I never charge extra for things like telephone calls or making copies.