Friday, October 10, 2008

How to Speed up a Social Security Disability Claim

The web is increasingly filled with "how to" articles on literally thousands of different subjects and social security disability and SSI disability are no exception to the rule.

From my perspective, this is great. In nearly all areas these days, information is key and the more the better, simply because once a person knows more they can make better decisions and better plans. Better planning, of course, can help a person or their family avoid mistakes, some of which can be costly.

I've probably come across a dozen separate articles by various law firms and disability advocates regarding how to speed up a disability claim. Unfortunately, very few of them actually give any useful information...about how to actually do this. Some simply advise you to take everything that you'll need to a disability interview, such as your complete work history and a list of all your treatment sources.

Granted, these are things you should do. I've posted here more times than I can count that you should always supply social security detailed information about your past work and your medical treatment history.

A full description of your job history will allow a disability decision maker (either a disability judge or a disability examiner, based on where your claim is at in the system) to discern whether or not your medical condition will allow you to either A) go back to one of your former jobs or B) move into some form of other work.

Giving a complete medical history, of course, will allow the decision maker to get all your vital records together so an accurate picture of your condition and limitations can be drawn.

However, as important as these things are, they really don't address the issue of how to speed up a disability claim. So, to that end, here are some tips.

1. When you apply for disability, take your medical records with you and submit them with your application.

2. If you can obtain a detailed, supporting statement from your doctor, submit this when you file for disability.

3. If you get asked to go to a social security medical exam, don't miss the appointment for anything. And try your very best not to get it rescheduled.

4. If you get denied on your initial claim, immediately request an appeal by contacting the social security administration. Typically, this will mean calling your local social security office. You have sixty days to file your appeal, but to minimize processing time and speed up your claim, you should request the appeal as soon as your receive a notice of denial. And if you are in the position to do so, don't wait for social security to send you your appeal forms. Instead, do one of the following:

A) Go to the social security office and get the forms yourself.
B) Download the forms from the SSA website.
C) If you have a disability representative, have that person's office file your appeal immediately (call them that day and tell them to get your appeal in the mail along with a copy of it sent to you).

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog


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