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Office of Hearings and Appeals

Volume I

Transmittal No. I-2-48

Chapter: I-2-5

Subject: Obtaining Evidence


On April 14, 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) goes into effect. This law imposes national rules for the protection and dissemination of individual's health records. HIPAA holds the health-care provider accountable for the protection of the privacy of the individual's personal health records.

HIPAA allows the medical health provider to accept a claimant's request for release of all medical evidence and specifically permits authorizations to disclose future information arising after the date of release.

Form SSA-827 - Authorization to Release Information to the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been revised to comply with HIPAA. The State agency must send SSA-827s to consultative examination (CE) providers when requesting a CE. The authorization is valid for 12 months from the date it is signed.

Explanation of Content and Changes

This transmittal revises sections I-2-5-20A (Requesting a CE Through the State Agency) to advise that, when requesting a CE through the State agency, the ALJ or HO staff should provide the State agency with a signed and dated Form SSA-827 (2-2003). If there is no signed and dated SSA-827 (2-2003 edition or later) in the claim file, or if there is one but the 12-month expiration period has expired or will expire within 30 calendar days, the HO should indicate on the HA-4489 - Request for DDS Assistance in Obtaining Consultative Examination(s) that an updated SSA-827 is needed. This will alert the State agency to take steps to have the claimant provide an updated SSA-827.

Date: March 21, 2003