TN 3 (12-10)

DI 70015.001 Paper Modular Disability Folder (MDF) - Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures


A. Introduction to the paper Modular Disability Folder (MDF)

The Modular Disability Folder (MDF) is the official folder for paper cases. It promotes uniform assembly for all disability claims processing components within the Social Security Administration and the Disability Determination Services (DDS). For general information about using the MDF, see DI 70005.005.

NOTE: Public contact personnel should not disclose disability claim determinations or decisions to a claimant or claimant representative until case processing is complete.

B. Using the two-part brown folder with the MDF

  • Receive disability claims filed in the MDF from the field office.

  • Associate current paper claims with all prior paper claims, if any, whether they are in the two-part brown folder or the MDF.

  • Do not reassemble existing two-part brown folders into MDFs.

  • Staple the two-part brown folders to the back of the MDF.


C. MDF filing instructions

Follow the MDF filing instructions in DI 70005.001 through DI 70005.005. In addition, follow the procedures in this subsection.

1. Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS) routing form

  • Remove the EDCS routing form from the outside of the MDF, and

  • Place it on top in the Blue section (Disability Development and Documentation).

2. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) (SSA 4734-BK) and Psychiatric Review Technique (PRT) (SSA-2506-BK) forms

  • File the RFC and PRT forms in the Yellow (Back) section (Medical Records). These documents are considered medically related.

    EXCEPTION: A PRT form attached to an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review decision remains with the decision.

  • Do not file the RFC Assessment (physical and mental) and PRT forms with the SSA-831, Disability Determination and Transmittal.

3. Cover letters from treatment sources

Keep cover letters from treatment sources with the corresponding medical records to aid in identification of each record.

4. Unsuccessful development requests

Document unsuccessful development requests by filing the following material in the Yellow (Back) section (Medical Records):

  • Letters from medical sources stating that there are no records;

  • Copies of development request letters, that were delivered to medical sources who did not respond; and

  • Letters that were mailed to the last known addresses of medical sources and were returned as undeliverable.

5. Locally developed forms containing medical evidence or medical consultant/psychological consultant (MC/PC) opinions

File locally developed forms containing medical evidence or MC/PC opinions in the Yellow (Back) section (Medical Records).

6. Filing medical records

  • File medical records in receipt-date order or treatment-date order, at the initial and reconsideration levels.

  • If there is a medical denial at the reconsideration level of an initial claim or CDR, and the claimant or his or her representative files a request for a hearing, support staff in the hearing office organizes the relevant documents for the hearing.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
DI 70015.001 - Paper Modular Disability Folder (MDF) - Disability Determination Services (DDS) Procedures - 02/14/2012
Batch run: 01/15/2019