DI 81001.030 Claimant or Representative Requests a Copy of the Claims Folder
See Statements and Other Documentation - GN 00301.285 for the definition of the official disability folder.
A. Request Received in Disability Determination Services (DDS) or Telephone Service Center (TSC)
Request for entire claim folder
If the DDS or TSC receives a request for a copy of the entire claim folder forward the request to the servicing Field Office (FO) for copying unless there is a requirement to involve the Regional Office in responding to such requests.
NOTE: DDS and TSC offices do not have access to all systems that contain “official folder material.”
Request for medical
If the request is limited to documents used to make a medical determination, and the DDS has jurisdiction of the case at the time of the request, the DDS can provide a copy of the medical. This includes any documents in sections E. Disability Related Determination (blue) and F. Medical Records (yellow back) of the electronic folder (i.e., MER, Consultative Examination reports).
NOTE: If the case is a Certified Electronic Folder (CEF), provide a copy of the medical evidence on CD. If the official folder is a Modular Disability Folder (MDF), provide a paper copy of the medical evidence.
B. Request Received in FO, Office of Disability Adjudication Review (ODAR), or Processing Center (PC)
If the case is a CEF, provide a copy of the medical evidence on CD. If the official folder is paper, provide a paper copy of the medical evidence.
NOTE: If the FO receives a request to copy a case pending in ODAR, forward the request to the ODAR office with jurisdiction of the CEF. If the FO receives a request to copy a case pending at the Appeals Council, forward the request to the Appeals Council branch with jurisdiction of the CEF, noted at Appeals Council Jurisdictional Breakdowns.
The CEF does not contain all documents that comprise the official folder. To copy a CEF to CD, see Copying a Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) to CD - DI 81001.035.
REMINDER: Cases pending in Office of Quality Review (OQR) may have SSA-831s or Personalized Disability Notices (PDN) that do not reflect the final decision. To avoid providing copies of folders without final decisions, do not make a copy of a CEF unless the office copying the CEF has jurisdiction of the case.
C. Fees, Access, and Disclosure
For information on applicable fees, see:
The access and disclosure policy for records maintained by SSA is the same for electronic and paper records. For more information on access and disclosure, see:
Access to SSA Data – Disclosure GN 03340.000;
Law and Regulations — Disclosure/Confidentiality GN 03301.000;
Access and Disclosure of Confidential Information and Official Records GN 03300.000; and
Certification of the Official Folder - GN 03360.025.
NOTE: DDS offices must comply with their individual State laws regarding access and disclosure of records.
REMINDER: Refer to Who May Consent - GN 03305.005 for restrictions on parental disclosure of a minor child’s medical records and Providing Access to Medical Records - GN 03340.035 concerning parental access to a minor child’s medical records.