Applications for Social Security Disability ("SSD") benefits can now be filed on the internet, as can all subsequent documents through Electronic Records Express ("ERE"). When using ERE, you receive a receipt that confirms the date and time of the filing. Unfortunately, the ERE receipt fails to ensure that the records you submit will be seen by an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") .
The last two weeks I had three hearings with two ALJs from the Brooklyn hearing office. I submitted on the record requests ("OTRs") to have the applications approved without the need for a hearing, and received ERE receipts for the OTRs.
Last week, the first ALJ said that the OTRs were not associated with the files until the morning of the hearings, and he would have approved them if he had seen them earlier. Today, the second ALJ said he never saw the OTR, even though he said the ERE receipt that I showed him was in order. Additionally, after the hearing office sent me a CD Rom copy of the file last month, I had refaxed the OTR a second time after discovering that it was omitted from the file. The ALJ also said that had he seen the OTR he would have approved it.
ERE cannot be relied upon to guaranty that your OTR or medical records will be placed into the hearing file. To make certain that the ALJ will review the documents you submit you still need to call the ALJ's assistant to ensure that they are associated with the proper file.