TN 6 (10-21)

DI 20505.010 Prior Folder(s) Exists and a New Claim is Filed

A. General policy for documenting and reviewing prior claims

1. Field Office (FO) responsibilities

When a claimant files a new disability claim, the FO must determine whether the claimant has previously filed for disability benefits or payments administered by the Social Security Administration. The FO lists the prior filings with a medical determination or decision, or substantial gainful activity (SGA) denial, on the SSA-3367 (Disability Report – Field Office). For more information on documenting prior filings, see DI 11005.045A.3 and DI 11005.085.

2. Disability Determination Services (DDS) responsibilities

The DDS must:

  1. a. 

    Review all available prior paper and electronic folders,

  2. b. 

    Identify the evidence that is relevant (see DI 24501.016B.2) to the new claim, and

  3. c. 

    Copy, scan, or fax the relevant evidence from the prior folder(s) into the current folder.

For more information on development procedures, see DI 22505.006B. For the definition of relevant evidence, see DI 24501.016B.2 and DI 20503.001B.2.

B. Prior folders

1. Types of prior folders

There are three types of prior folders :

  • Certified electronic folder (CEF),

  • Electronic folder (EF), and

  • Paper folder (or Modular Disability Folder).

For more information on the different types of folders, see DI 81001.005C. For how to determine if a prior folder is a CEF or EF, see DI 81001.015. For how to determine if a prior folder is paper, see DI 81001.020.

2. When the prior folder(s) is a CEF or EF

The DDS copies any relevant evidence from the prior CEF or EF to the current folder. For more information on viewing and copying evidence from a prior CEF or EF, see DI 81005.052.

When the prior EF does not include all of the evidence, see DI 20505.010C.2 in this section to determine whether to request the prior paper folder(s) associated with the EF.

3. When the prior folder(s) is a paper folder

When the prior folder is paper, see DI 20505.010C.2 in this section to determine whether to request the prior paper folder(s).

When the prior paper folder is received, see DI 20505.010A.2 in this section for DDS responsibilities.

For information on faxing or scanning the evidence from the prior paper folder(s) into the current CEF or EF, see DI 81010.090 and DI 81020.030C. For information on associating the prior paper folder(s) to the current paper folder, see DI 20505.015D.

C. Policy for requesting prior paper folders

1. FO responsibilities

The FO must request the prior paper folder(s) as outlined in DI 11005.085B.3.

2. DDS responsibilities

The DDS must request the prior paper folder(s) in the following situations:

  1. a. 

    The FO did not request the prior folder(s) and one of the situations in DI 11005.085B.3. applies.

  2. b. 

    Evidence in the new claim indicates a possible reopening (see DI 27500.000).

  3. c. 

    The DDS needs longitudinal medical evidence in the new claim (see DI 22505.010).

  4. d. 

    The DDS needs the prior folder(s) for any other reason to make the determination on the new claim.

For more information on how to request a prior paper folder(s), see DI 20505.015.

NOTE: If the FO already requested the prior paper folder(s) or documented that the prior paper folder is destroyed or cannot be located, the DDS is not required to request it. For more information on the FO documentation requirements, see DI 11005.085B.7. For more information on DDS procedures when the prior folder(s) is not received, see DI 20505.015C.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0420505010
DI 20505.010 - Prior Folder(s) Exists and a New Claim is Filed - 10/12/2021
Batch run: 10/12/2021
Rev:10/12/2021