Your word is important. The Social Security Administration wants to know how your disability affects your life, and you are in the best position to provide that information. However, your word is not enough to qualify you for Social Security disability.
The Social Security Administration needs additional information from credible sources to find that you are disabled. These credible sources, such as doctors, owe you a duty of confidentiality and cannot provide information the Social Security Administration needs without your consent.
Accordingly, the Social Security Administration will ask you to complete a form known as SSA 827 – Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration. Whether you complete the form or not is up to you. However, if you fail to sign SSA 827, then the Social Security Administration may deny your Social Security disability claim for lack of medical evidence.
What’s on SSA 827?
You don’t need to gather a lot of information to complete SSA 827. You will need to provide your:
- Social Security Number
- Phone Number
- Witness signature(s)
While SSA 827 is an easy form to complete, it is critical to your Social Security disability determination because of the consent you provide to the Social Security Administration and through the Social Security Administration to Disability Determination Services.
When you sign SSA 827, you allow the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services to access all records and information about your treatment for your disabilities. This information may contain personal information about sensitive medical issues including, but not limited to:
- Psychological, psychiatric, or other mental impairments. However, your consent on SSA 827 does not provide the Social Security Administration access to psychotherapy notes.
- Drug, alcohol, or other substance abuse
- Sickle cell anemia
- Communicable or noncommunicable disease
- HIV/Aids tests or records
- Gene-related impairments, including genetic test results
- Information about how your disability affects your activities of daily living, ability to complete tasks, and ability to work
- Educational tests or evaluations, such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), special education re-evaluations, psychological evaluations, speech evaluations, and other educational records that may help the Social Security Administration evaluate your ability to function, teachers’ observations, and evaluations.
Your consent includes information already created and any new information created within 12 months of when you sign SSA 827.
The information above may come from:
- Any medical source. Medical sources include but are not limited to hospitals, clinics, labs, doctors, and psychologists. Mental health, correctional, addiction treatment, and VA health care facilities are specifically included as medical sources.
- Any educational source, including schools, teachers, counselors, and others.
- Social workers and rehabilitation counselors.
- Consulting examiners used by the Social Security Administration.
- Insurance companies and workers’ compensation programs.
- People with personal knowledge of your condition, such as family, neighbors, friends, and public officials.
Your authorization remains effective for 12 months from the date you sign the form unless you revoke your authorization sooner.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Before Signing Any Social Security Forms
SSA 827 is just one of many forms that you will need to provide to the Social Security Administration if you pursue a Social Security disability claim. A mistake on this or any other form could result in a denial of Social Security benefits.
Don’t take any chances with your Social Security disability application. Instead, work with an experienced Boston area Social Security disability lawyer to make sure that you submit a complete and accurate disability application.
Our Social Security disability lawyers are only paid as part of your Social Security disability settlement. You will not owe us any hourly fees. In most cases, the Social Security Administration will pay us directly from your disability settlement.
If you apply for disability benefits in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, we encourage you to contact Keefe Disability Law today for a free consultation. We will answer all of your questions and talk to you about possible next steps in the Social Security disability process.