DI 11010.520 Following Up on Requests for Medical Reports
There will be occasions where the FO will be involved in following up on requests for medical reports (e.g., upon special request by the DDS or the ODO, or in special arrangement situations). In these cases, use local experience to decide on when to followup on these requests. When the FO has sent the request on behalf of the claimant, followup with the source by telephone. When the claimant has requested the report, followup with the claimant by telephone.
In cases where the claimant is unable to proceed with the request (e.g., bedridden, illiterate, or mentally ill), try to obtain the name and address of a friend or relative who can be of assistance. Whenever necessary, enlist the support of this third party and take any other required action (e.g., develop for a representative payee).
If after all attempts have been made, no evidence can be obtained (e.g., death or incapacity of the physician; unwillingness of the source to furnish the report), annotate the files to reflect the circumstances and all efforts made to secure the evidence. Forward the materials to the appropriate office (e.g., ODO or the DDS). (See DI 11010.525.)