Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The social security disability process for disability claims

This is number ten in our list of mistakes not to make on a social security disability or SSI claim. Don't assume that you won't get approved for disability if you don't understand the social security disability process or find the process confusing.

The truth is, nearly everyone who files a disability application or a disability appeal finds the process fairly confusing. And this is due to several reasons:

1. The process is a lengthy one, often taking months or even years to get through.

2. The social security administration does not attempt to explain the disability adjudication process to claimants in sufficient detail.

3. Very often, the correspondence sent by the social security administration is inherently confusing and sometimes contradictory.

Here are a few basic points to keep in mind regarding the social security disability process.

1. Applications for disability are taken by the social security office, and an application can be taken over the phone, online, or in person.

2. Social security disability and SSI disability applications are actually processed by disability examiners who work in separate state agencies.

3. Claimants are allowed to contact the disability examiner who has been assigned to their disability claim in order to check the status on their claim (you can usually get the number to contact your disability examiner from the social security office where you applied for benefits).

4. Most applications at the initial claim level will be denied and claimants are allowed to file an appeal, which may be known as a reconsideration or review.

5. Most of these first appeals are also denied (usually at an even higher rate of denial) and claimants are allowed to file a second disability appeal which is a request for a disability hearing with a judge.

6. Disability claimants who go to a disability hearing have better than a fifty percent chance of winning benefits (the chance of winning at a hearing tends to go up for claimants who are represented).

Other Posts:
If you already receive social security disability or ssi benefits, can you work ?
How many social security disability and ssi claimants do not file an appeal ?
Social Security Disability SSI questions
Social Security Disability SSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome