Several years ago, the Social Security Administration changed the rules regarding the submission of evidence for disability claims cases. Known as the “all-evidence ruling,” Social Security Disability applications received clarification on the nature and timeline of evidence submissions.
While the ruling did not impact the payment of benefits or the review process, it changed the way information applicants submit evidence to the SSA and the types of medical records required for processing.
Prior to the change in procedures, disability applicants need only to submit information deemed material to the specific disability claim. This generic instruction often left the SSA dealing with incomplete files or missing elements in medical records. Whether these omissions occurred deliberately or out of ignorance, the SSA chose to eliminate the “material” qualifier from evidence submission rules.
Once the ruling passed, any representative or applicant is now under a responsibility to either inform or submit any evidence to the SSA, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to a claim. If the evidence show or establishes a causal or logical connection between two elements, the SSA considers it relevant.
Additionally, the SSA also implemented a five-day ruling on evidence submissions. Under this act, a judge can exclude any evidence submitted by the claimant or representative fewer than five days before the hearing on the claim takes place.
Claimants and their representatives can rely on good faith judgments and reasonable assessments concerning the relevance of evidence. However, omissions can lead to a claim denial and extend the waiting period for receiving benefits.