In the past, I have been rather casual about requesting current records for the medical treatment my clients are getting. I usually asked them to let me know about any significant changes in their situation. By this, I meant a new diagnosis or treatment. This might need to change now.
A New Ruling Means New Requirements
A recent Social Security Ruling, 17-04p, mandates that Social Security disability applicants, and their lawyers, inform
Social Security about new medical treatment. This part is not new. The requirement to inform Social Security as soon as you are aware of the additional medical care is.
In the past, there was not much need to update Social Security on an on-going basis. This was mostly due to the extraordinary delays in getting Social Security disability hearings scheduled. Why bother informing Social Security about an MRI from last week when you are not going to see the judge for another two years?
Does Social Security Really Want All The Latest Medical Records?
I am not convinced that Social Security really wants to get moment-by-moment medical updates. They are already hopelessly behind. Spending precious resources updating a medical file that no one is going to even look at for a year and a half makes very little sense.
Best To Comply For Now
Until we see how Social Security is going to apply 17.04p in practice, it makes sense to err on the side of over-reporting. One way to do this would be a periodic email to your lawyer, say once a month or so, with details of any recent medical treatment.
What do you think of this new requirement? Will it make the delays even longer? Let me know.