With the drama and chaos of a presidential election dominating the news for months, a number of significant stories got little notice or were ignored entirely by the Charlotte media. With the votes counted and results announced, it is time to examine stories that were buried, including the good news that the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration kicked off a new initiative to speed the sharing of medical records.
Proponents say the initiative will enable officials to make disability claim decisions faster.
The SSA has always obtained vets' medical records with a manual process that included snail mail and faxes. The new, faster process enables the VA to share those records with the SSA electronically.
The VA’s Under Secretary for Health said the joint effort "will ultimately improve the quality of life for veterans and their dependents."
The automated process being rolled out has three steps:
- The Social Security Administration gets the veteran's consent to share medical records
- The SSA then sends an electronic message to inform the VA that it has the vet's consent
- The SSA then retrieves the veteran's records in real time
Experts hope to see the disability determination wait cut in half by the new process.
We hope to see more advances in coming days that will benefit veterans, their families and all other Americans who find that disability prevents them from working. If you need help with a denial of a Social Security Disability claim, you can contact an experienced SSDI appeal attorney.