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10/14 The cost of medical records in social security disability claims

One expense that is encountered in nearly every Social Security Disability claim ("SSDI") is the cost of getting, copying and then filing medical records to support the case. The charges seem to vary widely from medical provider to medical care provider even if the claimants have the same spine, back or brain injury or other disabling medical condition. The question we get from clients and their families is, "How much doctors can charge for medical records in disability claims ?"

There are special rules and regulations on these charges when the claim is for Social Security Disability, because claimants are out of work and typically of limited financial resources. For example, the Georgia Code provides the amounts a doctor’s office may charge for a patient’s records. HEALTH RECORDS O.C.G.A. § 31-33-3 (2008) states:

  • Costs of copying and mailing; patient’s rights as to records
  • (a) …A charge of up to $20.00 may be collected for search, retrieval, and other direct administrative costs related to compliance with the request under this chapter.
  • A fee for certifying the medical records may also be charged not to exceed $7.50 for each record certified.
  • The actual cost of postage incurred in mailing the requested records may also be charged.
  • In addition, copying costs for a record which is in paper form shall not exceed $.75 per page for the first 20 pages of the patient’s records which are copied; $.65 per page for pages 21 through 100; and $.50 for each page copied in excess of 100 pages.
  • All of the fees allowed by this Code section may be adjusted annually in accordance with the medical component of the consumer price index.
  • To the extent the request for medical records includes portions of records which are not in paper form, including but not limited to radiology films, models, or fetal monitoring strips, the provider shall be entitled to recover the full reasonable cost of such reproduction.
  • Payment of such costs may be required by the provider prior to the records being furnished.
  • This subsection shall not apply to records requested in order to make or complete an application for a disability benefits program.

    Bottom line: check your state’s laws to ascertain what charges may be encountered when getting medical records for a Social Security Disability case.

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