The Social Security Administration (SSA) Navigates the Electronic Age
The SSA has spent the last decade developing its electronic infrastructure. This includes the electronic disability claims folder (EF). What follows is an incomplete bullet point list of some of the SSA’s current regulations for filing certain kinds of requests.
Requests for reconsideration, reviews, and hearings must be filed in the following cases:
-Initial application denied (regulations differ for prototype vs. non-prototype states)
-Request for reconsideration denied
-Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decides unfavorably (must be filed on paper)
Regarding electronic access to the claimant’s EF:
-There’s no online access to a claimant’s EF prior to the hearing level; contact the case Disability Determination Services (DDS) examiner for information.
-Online access is available to claimant representatives at the hearing and Appeals Council levels provided the representatives are enrolled in Appointed Representatives Services (ARS); contact a hearing office to begin the ARS enrollment process.
Regarding the submission of evidence:
-The SSA recommends electronic submissions; however, paper is still accepted.
-For submissions at the DDS level, contact the appropriate DDS for a barcode sheet.
-For submissions at the hearing level, see the SSA’s official website for a “best practices” guide.
-Submission of evidence to the Appeals Council must be paper only.
Keep in mind that this is NOT a complete list. Consult the SSA’s official regulations for further information about filing methods and the EF.