In some situations, the DDS or OCO/ODO will need FO assistance in developing medical
evidence. The DDS will use the SSA-883-U3, and OCO/ODO will use the SSA-5526-U3 (Request
for Additional Evidence of Disability) to make these requests. Whenever possible,
make direct contact with the medical source. Always use the appropriate form(s) to
contact the source by mail. If a source states that a report was recently sent, another
report may not be necessary. However, when it is obvious that the report has been
lost or misplaced (e.g., sufficient mailing time has elapsed since the report was
mailed but the requesting office has not received the report), ask the source to submit
another report. When the evidence is not available from the source, explain what attempts
were made to secure the needed information in the appropriate sections of the SSA-883-U3
or SSA-5526-U3, as appropriate, and return the form to the DDS or OCO/ODO.
When the claimant must be contacted, use good judgment in determining the best method
of contact (e.g., direct contact or mail). In any case, explain to the claimant what
is needed (e.g., the DDS or OCO/ODO has not been able to secure certain medical evidence).
Stress the importance of the medical evidence to the claim decision. Also, explain
how the lack of this evidence may affect the disability determination.