The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently made changes to Appointed Representative Services (ARS).
First, SSA added the new document types to its drop down menus. These documents can now be uploaded electronically from a claimant’s electronic folder:
- Representative Correspondence
- HA-85 (Withdrawal of Hearing Request)
- Objections to the issues in the Notice of Hearing
- Subpoena requests
- Correspondence regarding efforts to obtain evidence
- Third Party (Non-medical) Statements
- Request for Medical Expert at the hearing
Second, representatives now have the ability to access exhibits from prior folders. Exhibits from a prior folder are identified with an asterisk (*) next to the exhibit number, and the description ‘Exhibited from a Prior Folder’ appears when the representative hovers over the document name. Documents from prior files can be critical in some claims, especially those in which the claimant had previously been approved for benefits, but whose benefits were discontinued for non-medical reasons. See the December 2013 edition of this newsletter for more on prior files.
Finally, ZIP packages now have all documents in PDF instead of TIF format. The ZIP packages continue to function the same way they did before the release. Opening the index.html file will open a window with links to all the documents in the package. Clicking on a link will open the document. The only difference is that the documents are in PDF instead of TIF format.
Thanks to NOSSCR for its efforts in advocating for these changes.