Social Security & the E-File: What You Should Know Part II
After the initial application a “bar code” is identified with your claim which usually appears on most DDS or adjudicator correspondence and requests. The “bar code” should be sent via facsimile to the phone number identified on the correspondence.
The actual forms and bar code is being sent to a sub-contractor hired by SSA to process the documents electronically. In other words, to put the documents in an electronic format so the adjudicator can view the documents on his/her computer rather than having an actual paper file.
The problem that often arises is the fact that many claimant’s do not have access to a fax machine or must pay a $1.00 plus for each page to be faxed and many adjudicators/SSA employees do not include a return pre-paid envelope via the paper method when specifically requested to do so in a claim.
It is important to note that the “bar code” at the initial and reconsideration claim levels is different than the “bar code” used at the Hearing level. Many times claimant’s, SSA employees and representatives can confuse the two different bar codes which can cause chaos at the Hearing level. Although no human being can be expected to be a bar code reader, there is a noticeable page format difference between the two, which only an experienced practicioner or SSA employee can identify.
At the Hearing level a CD or disc is available for review and yes, you must have a computer to view the documents or Exhibits in your claims file. In Part III we will review what should be and what often is not on the CD that you may need to request.