Last month, I wrote with excitement about how I was finally going to view my clients’ claims files on a special Social Security representatives’ website, using highly secure passwords and access codes provided by the Agency. Well, after using the resource for nearly a month, I can say that I am pleased with the efforts that they put both into securing my client’s information from inappropriate eyes and providing me access to the information.
I won’t say that the process is without hitches; cases that are coded to my partner or to my associate are not accessible using my access codes, for example. However, for the cases that I can pull up, there is tremendous value.
Now, rather than waiting for a hearing office to respond to my telephone or fax request for a CD of the Administration’s file, I can just log on and review what they have. I can cross check the claims file with what we have to make sure I don’t supply duplicate records. Sometimes I can even identify how the case was analyzed and bring that to the attention of an attorney adjudicator at the hearing office, with a request that they review it and consider approving the claim without a hearing. These are all good things.
I have also learned that we are still very much reliant on the hearing office staff in making sure that what we submit is properly entered into the claims files. On the other hand, I have received positive feedback from some of the staff at the hearing offices who no longer have to respond to my request for a CD by stopping what they’re doing and burning a disc for me.
Overall, I give the process a high “B” and look forward to monitoring the ongoing evolution of the hearing office claims process in response to feedback from myself and other attorneys and representatives.