Read more on this information sent by the Social Security Administration on “health IT”.

On October 11, 2016, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) launched a new initiative to improve services to Veterans and their dependents who apply for Social Security disability benefits.  This new national initiative enables Social Security disability processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities via health information technology (health IT) through a system-generated request.

Health IT capability uses existing information systems and supports national standards, policies, and technology to share health information securely through the eHealth Exchange.  This technology enables us to access Veterans health information electronically. 

Social Security is more than retirement.  We request more than 15 million medical records from healthcare organizations to help make decisions on over three million disability claims annually.  Medical documentation is essential to make a disability determination through all adjudicative levels.  Historically, we obtain medical records through a manual process (mail, fax, secure mail, etc.).  Health IT gives us the ability to obtain medical records automatically without human intervention.   

We continue to find innovative ways to maximize the use of health IT in our disability claims process.  We ask that you view our website for more information at

You can also visit our blog for more details about the health IT initiative with VA.

Please share this news with your members, colleagues, and other interested parties.

J. Jioni Palmer
Associate Commissioner for External Affairs