In May 2017, the rules regarding Social Security disability evidence changed. Anyone with a Social Security disability hearing scheduled on or after May 1, 2017 is subject to the new evidentiary rules. The new rule requires that you submit all evidence to the Social Security Administration at least five business days prior to your hearing. If you fail to provide the evidence at least five days prior to the hearing, the administrative law judge who is hearing your case may refuse to consider your evidence unless an exception to the general rule applies (See 20 CFR 405.331).
What Are the Exceptions?
While the general rule is that you provide all of your written evidence to the Social Security Administration at least five business days prior to your hearing, the regulations do provide three exceptions. The administrative law judge should consider your evidence if any of these exceptions apply:
- There was any action by the Social Security Administration that misled you.
- You had a physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitation that prevented you from submitting the evidence on time.
- Some other unusual, unexpected, or unavoidable circumstance beyond your control prevented you from submitting the evidence earlier.
If one of the exceptions applies, you may submit evidence within the five days prior to your hearing.
If you wish to submit evidence after the hearing and one of these exceptions applies, you will also have to prove that there is a reasonable probability that the evidence you failed to submit will affect the outcome of your claim.
Make Sure You Comply With the Law
It is important to prepare for your hearing early. Your medical records, for example, are likely critical to your disability claim. You do not want to risk going to a hearing without them if your medical provider is slow to send them.
Accordingly, it is important to work with a board certified Social Security disability lawyer who can make sure that you have all of the evidence you need and that it is submitted in a timely way to the Social Security Administration. That way, you don’t risk an incorrect decision because your evidence was submitted incorrectly.
For more information about protecting your rights, please contact us today via this website or by phone. We would be pleased to speak with you and to help you through the Social Security disability appeals process.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.