This week, the Social Security Administration announced the launch of a new Health IT initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that enables all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities. Veterans will receive a faster decision on their Social Security disability claim, speeding them and their dependents through this new process. Both agencies will save time and money with an automatic request through the eHealth Exchange.
On Veteran's Day, November 11, the eHealth Exchange will go live, nationally, to all Social Security disability case processing sites.
Social Security requests nearly 15 million medical records annually from healthcare providers and organizations to make medical decisions on about three million disability claims. Medical documentation is essential to make a disability determination. This new national initiative puts in place an automated process to obtain medical records electronically without human intervention.
"Currently, when eligible Veterans apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits the average wait time for Social Security to receive paper records from VA can take months; this partnership allows Social Security and VA to share the Veteran's health information electronically in minutes," said Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Social Security offers two other programs to expedite disability claims filed by veterans. Wounded Warriors and veterans with a VA disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total have their Social Security disability claims treated as high priority and receive expedited decisions. For more information about these programs, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans.