Review the disability claims folder to determine whether:
Medical evidence of record (MER) is in the file as defined in DI 22505.001.
Developmental evidence, i.e., completed disability report and completed SSA-827 (Authorization
to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (SSA)) is in the file.
Due to the nature or severity of the claimant’s impairment or condition, he or she
needs assistance obtaining the evidence. For details about how to identify claimants
who need assistance and how to provide assistance, see GN 00301.180.
A relative, friend, third party, or medical source named during the interview can
provide assistance by either contacting the claimant or obtaining the required evidence.
If you determine that none of the factors above apply, i.e., there is no MER, no developmental
evidence, no assistance needed by the claimant, and no third party or medical treating
source can assist you in obtaining the required evidence, you may contact the claimant
by telephone or send a follow-up request to the claimant’s mailing address. If you
are not able to contact the claimant, send a closeout letter.