Identification Number:
DI 81020 TN 16
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP ODP
Title:DDS Procedures - Electronic Process
Type:POMS Transmittals
Link To Reference:

Part DI – Disability Insurance
Chapter 810 – Electronic Disability Guide (eDG) Procedures for the Electronic Process
Subchapter 20 – DDS Procedures - Electronic Process
Transmittal No. 16, 11/12/2019



Originating Component


Effective Date

Upon Receipt


We are revising this section to introduce new print policy for partially electronic cases, and provide clarity. We added a missing step for the DDSs to shred the paper documents once it is verified the documents are available in eView. We removed old policy, and consolidated DDS locally faxed and scanned document procedures. We updated terms to keep up with DDS language.


Summary of Changes

DI 81020.055 Document Retention and Destruction

Section A:

We added appointed representatives where applicable throughout for consistency. We removed the word Certified from CEF since certification wording was mostly used in the beginning stages of eDIB when we were transitioning from paper cases into electronic cases, and to serve as an indicator when all cases are processed in EDCS. These days we are also incorporating Electronic Folder (EF) term for cases that are partially electronic (EDCS claim processed with a paper claim) since we are seeing more of these cases being processed today. However, both CEF and EF terms both have a case that was processed in EDCS, and EF would be more inclusive than using the term CEF.

We removed the sentence, "Electronic certification eliminates the creation of paper folder for electronic cases when the CEF is the official agency folder" because that statement does not seem relevant to the material covered in this section. Removed the word source from source documents throughout the entire POMS section since it seems to be an outdated term. Adjudicative components these days just use the word documents. Revised part of the wording from the second bullet to language we use today.

Section B:

We Added paper to the section's title since the section is referencing paper disability reports, and removed the wording submitted by claimants because the form can be submitted by others besides a claimant.

Removed the wording partially or fully complete since the overall objective here is what the FO should do in EDCS when they receive a paper disability report. The FO is already expected to reach out to a claimant for incomplete disability reports, and to complete all EDCS disability report screens before transferring a case to the DDS. Changed wording for bullet items for clarity purposes, and added a new bullet telling the FOs to shred the paper disability forms once they have keyed the information into EDCS.

Changed claim wording to case for consistency purposes. Made some formatting and minor word changes to the bullet items for consistency purposes.

Section C:

Removed the word source from the title since no one seems to use the term source documents anymore. We moved the overview and incorporated its DDS locally scanned procedures into number 1 to consolidate procedures for faxing and scanning documents since they are the same regardless if the documents are faxed or scanned..

We changed the title to clarify this section is for DDS locally faxed and scanned documents. We incorporated scanning throughout this section since the procedures are the same for faxing or scanning. For clarity and consistency purposes, we removed CEF and replaced with eView. On the second bullet, we removed destroy and replaced it with shred. On the third bullet, we removed the word acceptable to clarify to the DDSs that what we want is for a user to check that the faxed/scanned document is in eView. We also removed posted to CEF, and replaced it with uploaded into EF.

For clarity and consistency purposes, we removed the wording "accessible in CEF" to "viewable in eView", and removed destroy and replaced it with shred. We reworded the latter part of this section (followed by the bullet list) to clarify that it is the same DDS determining if they requested the original documents. We removed the word evidentiary and replaced it with original for consistency purposes. We removed the note since it is outdated, and EDCS/eView systems determine the component that has jurisdiction.

Revised the first sentence to clarify why paper retention policy would never apply to documents that are imported into EF through ERE since these documents would have been received in an electronic format.

Removed the word source from source document. Removed the word unacceptable and replaced with not viewable.

Section D:

We are removing the parenthetical example in the introduction, and removing the three bullets. The scanned documents no longer have to be retained for the paper folder when the DDS is processing partially electronic cases. We revised the sentence to only scan paper documents into the electronic case, and added the POMS reference DI 81010.30 for new file and print policy procedures for partially electronic cases.

We removed the word Exception and instead made it a note because it supports the new file and policy for where to store documents for partially electronic cases.

We removed the last sentence because new file and print policy in DI 81010.030 tells the DDS to only print documentation that pertains solely to the paper case, and to upload in eView any documents that apply to both the electronic and paper case.

We added the word paper to clarify that were are referencing a paper folder.

DI 81020.055 Document Retention and Destruction

A. General

Claimants, appointed representatives, third parties and medical providers submit paper documents in support of a disability determination that are added to the Electronic Folder (EF) using imaging technologies (e.g., scanning, Electronic Records Express (ERE) import, or faxing). The DDS or contract scanner must maintain paper documents long enough prior to destruction to ensure that:

  • The technical person reviews the images (e.g., case adjudicator, medical consultant, quality reviewer, etc.) to assess the quality and usability of the image; and

  • Retrieves the paper documents if the images are not viewable.

NOTE: Documents that are submitted electronically through ERE are exempt from the document retention policy.

B. Paper Disability Report Forms

Claimants, appointed representatives, or third parties may submit paper disability reports to the Field Offices (FO).

1. Submitted prior to case transfer to Disability Determination Services (DDS)

If the claimant submits a paper disability report (e.g., SSA-3368 Disability Report - Adult) before a case is transferred to the DDS, the FO will:

  • Key in all the disability report responses in Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS) along with any information the claimant, appointed representative, or third party provides during a disability interview;

  • Annotate observations in the “Remarks” section of the SSA-3367 (Disability Report – Field Office) to document anything unusual about the appearance of a completed paper form that could be relevant to the determination of disability and that would not be evident from the electronic version (e.g., when a claimant completes the form using unusual drawings, extensive writing in the margins, or unusual language); and,

  • Shred the paper form.


See DI 81010.225 for handling Continuation Disability Review (CDR) forms on eCDR claims.

2. Submitted after case transfer to DDS

When the FO receives a paper disability report after the case has been transferred to the DDS, the FO will:

  • Compare it to the information in EDCS;

  • Record any new or changed information using the EDCS Update After Transfer (UAT) functionality; and

  • Shred the paper form.

C.  Document retention

1. DDS locally scanned and faxed documents

The DDS will retain locally faxed and scanned documents until they have verified that an acceptable image has been added to eView. After faxing documents into eView, the DDS will:

  • Review the image in eView;

  • If the image is acceptable, shred the document; or

  • If the image is not acceptable, repeat the faxing or scanning process until the image is viewable in eView.


There may be a delay between the time an individual faxes or scans in a document, and the time the image uploads into the EF. Wait a sufficient time for the imaging process to complete before re-faxing or re-scanning the document.

2. Contract scanned documents

The contract scanner retains contract-scanned documents for 15 days from scan date. Contractor stored documents may be recalled or re-scanned if needed during the retention period (see Contract Scanning Procedures - DI 81020.045).

If the contract scanner returns the documents to the DDS, the DDS will determine if the documents are viewable in eView, and then shred the paper copy.

The contract scanner may also forward documents to the DDS that contain one or more of the original items listed below and an “S” in the barcode (see DI 81020.035). Mail the documents in an envelope with a yellow label affixed which reads “Original Document Retrieval:"

  • Birth certificate

  • Driver’s license

  • Marriage license

  • Social Security card

  • Death certificate

  • Tax returns

  • Naturalization certificate

The DDS determines if they requested the original documents, if so, the documents are returned to the claimant.

If the DDS did not request the original documents, they return the documents to the servicing field office. Prepare a routing slip with the following remark: “The attached proof was sent to the DDS by the claimant. Please return the documents to the claimant as appropriate.”

3. ERE import

There are no paper documents to retain when DDS users upload electronic documents displayed on their desktop into the EF utilizing the ERE import functionality, or when medical sources and providers upload documents through ERE. Offices are not required to print or store documents that they receive electronically.

D. Electronic case associated with a current paper folder

1. Maintaining the paper folder

If an electronic case is associated with a current paper folder, scan documents into the electronic case. Though most of the documentation will be stored in the electronic folder, the official folder is paper. The FO and DDS will follow filing documentation procedures for partially electronic cases per DI 81010.030C.


Do not print and file the EDCS disability reports (e.g., SSA-3368, SSA-3820, SSA-3441) in the paper folder. All components can use eView to view the disability reports keyed into the EDCS case. All disability reports are identified on the EDCS Routing Form attached to the front of the paper Modular Disability Folder (MDF). Refer to DI 81020.050B, for a list of documents that do not need to be scanned into the EF.

2. Disability Starter Kit Worksheet

If the paper folder contains a Disability Starter Kit worksheet (SSA-3381 and SSA-3819), shred the worksheet. Do not file in the disability claims folder.

E. Destroying records - Policy

1. Authority

Federal agencies are required to follow regulations issued by the Archivist of the United States governing the methods of destroying records (44 U.S.C. 3302). Only the methods described in this section shall be used.

2. Requirements for the destruction of sensitive records

Sensitive paper documents (e.g., medical evidence) ready for disposal must be destroyed in such a way (i.e., burning, pulping, shredding, macerating, or other suitable similar means) that the material cannot be reassembled and used in an inappropriate manner in violation of law and regulation.

Electronic records (e.g., CDs) must be destroyed in a manner that prevents reconstruction and use of the record.


Non-sensitive paper records ready for disposal must normally be sold as wastepaper.

3. Methods of destruction

DDSs should refer to DDS Physical Security Policy and Guidelines - DI 39567.010, DDS Suitability Program Guidance - DI 39567.260, DDS Procedures for Safeguarding and handling Paper Records DI 39567.220 and DDS Procedures Safeguarding and Handling Electronic Records - DI 39567.225, for procedures regarding destruction of data and paper records.

DI 81020 TN 16 - DDS Procedures - Electronic Process - 11/12/2019