Social Security regulations require that we submit all medical evidence (or inform the Administrative Law Judge of such evidence) at least five business days before your hearing.
It is generally to your advantage for the judge to have the opportunity to review the evidence before your hearing. If the evidence is sufficient, many judges will grant an "On The Record" decision, approving benefits without making you come in to testify. This won't happen if the record is not complete until the last minute.
While many judges will not penalize you for submitting evidence late, some judges will. We do not want your claim to be denied because a judge did not receive the evidence in time. We have recently received a few such denials, which now require appeals that would otherwise be unnecessary. These appeals prolong the process, often adding years of waiting, and could have been avoided had the evidence been provided earlier.
Very often, delays in providing the evidence are not your fault, and are the due to delays from your doctors' offices. The best you can do is request and pay for any needed evidence as soon as possible, and follow up with your doctors' offices regularly until the evidence is provided.
Once you receive records or reports from your doctors, please do not delay in forwarding those records to our office. We do our best to submit those records as soon as possible, but we also do want to opportunity to review those records before having them added as exhibits in your file.
If you have any questions regarding the medical evidence needed for your hearing, please contact us at (212) 766-5800.