Advocates celebrated in 2017 when New York passed legislation allowing disability claimants to obtain medical records from providers at no cost. See the October 2017 edition of this newsletter for more details on Public Health Law §§ 17 & 18. Now New Jersey has followed suit.
On August 9, 2019, Governor Murphy signed into law amendments to the New Jersey medical record copy law that will allow free medical record copies for some people of limited means, and for requests by the not-for-profit companies and pro bono attorneys representing them. The law will go into effect on March 1, 2020, and will allow Legal Services offices to get free medical record copies for their clients. Individuals meeting certain financial criteria (at or below 250% of the federal poverty level), or who receive state or federal needs based assistance, are also eligible to request a free copy of their records. A pamphlet copy of the text of the new law is available at https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/PL19/217_.PDF.
Thanks to Kevin Liebkemann of Legal Services of New Jersey for this update and for his advocacy on this issue.