Special rules apply to medical records: These can be summarized as follows:
- If we have denied your application for disability benefits and you ask for your medical records to contest our decision, we will furnish them to you.
- In all other cases, we will first have our medical staff examine them to determine whether their release to you might be harmful to you. If our medical staff thinks their release might be harmful to you, we will ask that you furnish us with the name and address of a physician of your choice. We will then release the medical records to this physician who can then review the records with you and release them to you if in his professional judgment the release would be warranted. In the majority of cases, medical records are released directly to the requester.
- With the exception of the special case where we release the records to your designated physician and when you request your medical records to contest our denial of your claim for benefits, we must release your medical records directly to you, even if you request us to furnish them to a third party, such as an attorney. Once you receive the records, you are free, of course, to give them to whoever you wish. This procedure, which we admit might be an inconvenience to you, is a requirement of the laws we administer.