I have received an invitation to an event that will hopefully change advocacy of disability claims for the better. Tomorrow morning I have been invited to venture to the Social Security main office in Atlanta for the purpose of registering for online access to electronic folders for my clients' cases that are pending at the hearing level. When this service is available, it is suggested that advocates will be able to view the entire contents of their clients' files, and ensure that all evidence has been submitted and exhibited. This will hopefully be the online equivalent of the hearing CDs that we receive prior to, and on the day of hearings, and it will hopefully be updated in real time. Note that there are a lot of "hopefullys" in that last sentence, but if the SSA gets even close, this will be a great step forward. It is clear that the SSA is investing heavily in technology to move the process more toward an e-experience, but how far that they will be able to push remains to be seen, especially since we are dealing with intervention from other influences such as HIPAA, ERISA, HITECH, and others.
The invitation is not clear whether or not tomorrow will result in immediate access upon registration, but rest assured that I will be sharing updates with the readers of this blog at the situation evolves.
For more information, contact Thomas O'Brien at Feiler & Associates.