When filing a claim for benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, a claimant has a duty to provide honest and accurate information to the Social Security Administration (SSA). An attorney representing an SSDI claimant has a duty to provide diligent and competent professional services in accordance with the rules of the state in which they are practicing law. SSA regulations also place duties on the attorney to deal openly with the SSA, to promptly respond to requests for information, and to generally comply with the agency’s rules.
A new regulation, which took effect in April 2015, changes the duties placed on both SSDI claimants and their legal representatives, essentially requiring claimants to provide all evidence related to their claim, regardless of whether it supports or detracts from the claim. It also modifies the duties of a claimant’s legal representative to reflect these new duties.
New Evidence Requirements
The new rule modifies numerous SSA regulations, but one of its most important changes is to the regulation regarding evidentiary requirements in SSDI claims, found in Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 404.1512.