With so much recent bad news about applying for social security disability in Buffalo lately, we are glad to be able to pass along the following helpful development regarding relief from the high cost of medical records.
Medical records are an essential part of any social security disability case. In fact, Social Security’s own regulations require claimants and their lawyers to submit “all evidence” related to their disability claim. Social security specifically defines “all evidence” to include objective medical evidence along with objective evidence from medical sources. Unfortunately, obtaining medical records can be burdensome and time consuming. Doctors offices sometimes have to be called multiple times before they produce the records, sometimes records are missing and it can be hard for claimants to remember every single doctor that they have seen. Until recently, obtaining the medical records could also be quite costly. In New York State, medical providers were allowed to charge up to $0.75 per page for medical records. Thankfully NY State disability applications will now have relief from the cost part of the medical records equation. On September 13, 2017 Governor Cuomo signed a new law that provides that doctors and other providers cannot charge for medical records requested: “for the purpose of supporting an application, claim or appeal for any government benefit or program…” This means that medical providers in New York are now required to provide copies of medical records requested as part of a social security claim free of charge. You can read the provisions of the new law here: https://www.nosscr.org/sites/default/files/new_york_medical_records_law.pdf
The attorneys at Pashler & Devereaux recognize how much our clients struggle waiting for their social security disability hearing and we applaud the New York State Legislature for taking this step to address one of the problematic aspects of the disability process.