Apr 15, 2016

Social Security To Require That Those Representing Claimants Use Online Systems To Access Files

     From a notice that Social Security will publish in the Federal Register on Monday:
This notice provides advance notification of the requirement that, for claims with certified electronic folders pending at the hearing or Appeals Council levels, an appointed representative must access and obtain a claimant’s folder through Appointed Representative Services (ARS) in matters for which the representative requests direct fee payment. Except under the limited circumstances described in this notice, we will no longer provide compact disc (CD) copies of the electronic folder to appointed representatives who request direct payment of fees. ...
A representative who falls under the terms of this mandate, as described, has an affirmative duty to comply with this requirement. We may investigate to determine if a representative violates this duty or is attempting to circumvent our rules. We may sanction a representative who does not follow these rules, as described in 20 CFR 404.1745-1795 and 416.1545-1595. However, we will not reject or delay a claimant's hearing or process a claim differently if a representative fails to comply with this electronic access requirement. ...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish they would mandate access at the application and recon levels. We could save so much time from submitting things five or six times until somebody finally decides to do a little bit of work.

Anonymous said...

the headline of your post is misleading...please note the qualifier. Electronic access is required, "in matters for which the representative requests direct fee payment."


Anonymous said...

It is way past time for SSA to stop burning CD's for representatives. Transferring case folders by CD is ancient technology and inefficient for both SSA and the representative.

I agree with 9:15. Access should be made available to representatives as early as possible in the process.

Anonymous said...

So does this also mean ODAR will no longer be providing CDs at the time of the hearing?

Anonymous said...

Correct.

Anonymous said...

The ODAR CDs are usually useless anyway, because they make them several days before the hearing and newer stuff isn't always in it.

Anonymous said...

I use the electronic system whenever possible. It is hard to even imagine going back to paper files. In the now very few cases that remain in paper,it feels like a trip to another world. I always download files throughout he process and do a bring down search the night before. What I resent is the pejorative sense that attorneys that don't use the electronic system should be punished in some way like denying the payment of fees. The only one's who will be impacted are reps that are handling a case for a friend or client with little or no experience in SS.

I fully agree that access should be extendedto cases at the State Agency as well. The problem is supposed to be legacy computer systems in the States, but that has been the supposed problem for the last five years. That was always the promise. Its hard to understand why this hasn't happened already at least somewhere. Maybe some computer guy could explain the problem.

What I would really like to see is a more automatic system that recognizes the rep upon log in and connects the files immediately to the rep This is essentiality how it works with electronic filing in Federal Court. Once I log in, any action I take is linked to me or my firm without any further need to enter identifying info. I would like to see that work when I file an appeal in any case where I am already shown as being the rep. I would also like to be able to attach info with the application electronically, especially the 1696, on initial filing, not just on appeals.

And don't even mention why law firms are not recognized. For the SS people that come here, the ideas are not to make the reps life easier but to make the system work better for SS and SS employees.

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Anonymous said...

So if I want to look at the SSA file at the ODAR hearing I now must not only bring my laptop but must use my wifi data? Great. Guess I will be upping my data plan.