Often laws are seemingly passed “in a bubble,” meaning although the intentions behind the law may be good, there is very little regard given to how the passed law will affect those it is intending to serve and/or protect. This may very well be the case with Florida statute 395.3025. This statute speaks to patients gaining access to their own medical records, and ends up causing a financial hardship for those veterans relying on their disability compensation as their only source of income.
Currently, Florida statute 395.3025 forces anyone requesting a copy of their medical records to pay $1 per page. Although $1 may not seem like much, to someone with a limited income and years of medical records, that $1 can quickly add up. The intention of the statute may have been to help the State offset some of their costs, and thereby save taxpayers money, the consequences of the statute put those same taxpayers in very unfortunate and disadvantageous situations.
Many people rely on veterans disability or Social Security payments as their only source of income, which is very limited and fixed. Being awarded veterans or Social Security disability is not a quick or simple process, however. It is not unusual for claimants to have to attend multiple hearings for multiple reasons. It is also not unusual for many claimants to be denied their claims because they could not afford copies of their medical records to substantiate their claims.
This statute is negatively affecting thousands upon thousands of lives. It is seemingly working against disabled veterans having access to available federal money. That same federal money relieves the state of Florida from having to support uninsured and disabled individuals.
If you believe the the statute should make available those records free of charge for those people using their own medical records to support either an initial disability claim or an appeal against the Social Security Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), please sign the petition to support an end to the $1 per page charge for disabled Floridians.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.