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Electronic records may help disabled vets apply for SSDI benefits

The recent observance of Veterans Day is an important reminder of the contributions that our servicemen and women have made to our country. We owe our wounded veterans an immeasurable debt, and one way to express our appreciation is through the health services we offer to them.

Unfortunately, navigating the application process for either VA benefits or Social Security disability insurance benefits can be a complicated endeavor. In that regard, a new medical records sharing initiative may help to streamline the process.

The new initiative is between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration. Both agencies hope to automate the process by which veterans' medical records can be electronically shared. The SSA already obtains nearly 15 million medical records each year from various healthcare organizations across the country.  This initiative will now include the VA's VLER Health Exchange database.

Our disability benefits law firm has helped many disabled veterans explore assistance from multiple state and federal resources. In our experience, medical documentation is vital to preparing a strong disability benefits application, either for VA or SSDI benefits.

Record sharing is important because a patient may be under the care of several different healthcare practitioners due to the specialized nature of modern medicine. Fortunately, the technology exists to share medical records between different healthcare professionals and facilities.

We believe that the strongest SSDI applications describe all treatments that a disabled individual may be receiving, even if outside the primary diagnosis. The reason is simple: The SSA's disability examiners define disability from a functional perspective. If the totality of symptoms prevents an individual from working for at least twelve consecutive months the SSA's disability examiners will likely define that individual as disabled.

Our attorneys understand how to submit a strong disability benefits application. Call our toll free number at 1-866-886-0660 for a free consultation.

Source: ExecutiveGov, "VA, SSA Launch Medical Records Sharing Initiative; David Shulkin Comments," Jay Clemens, Nov. 10, 2016

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