February 25, 2005M21-1, Part III
CHAPTER 9. INFORMATION REQUESTS TO OR FROM OTHER
FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES
SUBCHAPTER I. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (SSA) REQUESTS
9.01 REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION
a. General. Except as provided in paragraph 9.05 and part IV, paragraph 33.04, if information is needed from SSA in connection with adjudication of a claim, request it as shown below. Note that the correct routing of a request for SSA disability records depends on the individual’s age. If the person is younger than age 55, FAX the request to the Office of Disability Operations in Baltimore. If the person is age 55 or older, FAX the request to the National Records Center (NRC) in Kansas City. If the person resides at a foreign address, mail the request to the Division of International Operations, P.O. Box 17769, Baltimore, MD 21235-7769.
(1) Requests to Office of Disability Operations (ODO) (for persons under age 55). Send a FAX to (410) 298-7954 (see ADDENDUM A).
(2) Requests to Nations Records Center (for persons 55 years old and older). Send a FAX to (816) 257-5106 (see ADDENDUM B).
(a) A request should be on VA letterhead and should include the information shown in paragraph (2)b below. The requestor’s name, telephone number and FAX number are required information so that SSA has a VA point of contact. Do not transmit a FAX cover sheet with the request.
(b) Keep the original FAX in the claim file. Annotate the FAX with the date it was transmitted to SSA. The date will be needed for any follow-up FAX.
b. Information to Be Included in Requests. In all requests for information, include as much of the following data as is available:
(1) Name and address of the claimant.
(2) Name of the wage earner.
(3) Name of wage earner's parents.
(4) Wage earner's SSN.
(5) Date, age, and place of birth of wage earner, if known.
(6) Exact nature of the information desired. (Note: If information in the claims folder indicates that the claimant either receives SS disability benefits or has been denied such benefits, request a copy of the SSA decision, in addition to the SSA medical records. If the claimant asks VA to obtain other evidence in SSA’s possession, request it as well.)
(7) Purpose for which the requested information is to be used.
(8) The requester's name, telephone and FAX numbers.
c. Follow-up on Requests for SSA Medical Records. Do not follow up on requests for records from SSA before 60 days have elapsed from the date of the original request. Second and subsequent follow-up requests must be 30 days apart. Prepare a formal finding of Federal record unavailability if the SSA records custodian reports that the requested records do not exist or are not available. See Chapter 4, Addendum O (sample of a formal finding of unavailability memorandum) and M21-1MR, Part I, 1.C.5.f.