An exhibit file (also called your “Social Security file”) is assembled by Social Security in the course of the Social Security application process. It should contain copies of all the documents relevant to your Social Security disability claim, including correspondence, medical reports, your application, and evidence gathered by disability examiners. The exhibit file holds copies of the forms that assess your residual functional capacity as well as reports submitted by third party medical consultants.
The applicant and the Social Security Administration are allowed to look at the exhibit file and permitted to add evidence to the file. The exhibit file allows the applicant to view the information considered by the SSA when making a ruling on the disability claim. It is important to submit any missing information to the exhibit file so that the Social Security Administration is able to consider all the aspects of your disability claim.
Before an administrative law judge hears your case, it is important that a qualified Social Security disability lawyer or other professional representative review your exhibit file. Your representative may find information that is erroneously included in your file, such as false earnings reported on your Social Security number. While a Social Security examiner or disability attorney may find important discrepancies in your file, it is imperative that you verify your file for accuracy and completeness, as you know the details of your disability the best.
If your disability claim is denied request a copy of your exhibit file so that you can verify that the SSA has all the documents related to your disability case. You will have to find the number of the ODAR, which is processing your disability case and ask how you can get a copy of your file. The exhibit file is either a paper file or electronic file. If the file is on paper, the ODAR will schedule an appointment for you to look at your file and make a copy of its contents. Make sure to ask the office if they have a working copy machine and plenty of paper. You may have to bring your own paper. If the file is stored electronically, it will probably be sent to you on CD.
It is important to request your exhibit file as soon as possible so that you and your Social Security Disability attorney can review it to prepare for your hearing.