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Social Security Administration

Make Private Representatives Accountable at the Hearing Level

When represenatives of claimants (at the hearing level) submit medical evidence within seven days of the hearing, those medical records must be sent to contracted medical experts scheduled to testify at the hearing by FedEx. The cost of the delivery of those last minute additions to the record to the Medical or Vocational Expert is absorbed by the Agency and also places unwarrented workload strains on an already tight staff. The Agency can save millions of dollars by making the representatives responsible for the delivery of those last minute additions to the record by FedEx to the scheduled Experts. The representatives have had at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing with knowlege of the scheduled Experts, to submit records and sometimes YEARS prior to the scheduling of the hearing to update the records.

It is my belief that this popular practice by representatives at the Hearing level is a mis-use and abuse of Government employee time and Agency funds. Representatives are paid upwards of $6,000.00 per approved claim to properly represent the claimant. There is no reason Agency employees should assist representatives with their case load by preparing the FedEx shipments for these last minute additions nor should the Agency absorb the cost of the representatives unprepariedness and, then pay them for it if the claim is approved.

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Idea No. 4931