What you need to apply for Social Security disability infographic

What information will you need to apply for Social Security disability benefits?

The truth is Social Security requires a lot of information when you apply for Social Security disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI): from your education background and work history (job titles, how long you worked, and any accommodations you were given) to information about your doctors and the medications and tests prescribed. Social Security even asks for information about your current and past marriages.

Here is an easy visual guide of the information you have to give to Social Security when you apply.
Continue reading What you need to apply for Social Security disability infographic

“Apply Right” 5 star reviews! Woot!

Do you have any idea how to apply for Social Security disability benefits? No one does!

Not until they waste months (even years) waiting on Social Security. I have seen too many wonderful disabled people in Colorado get denied for little mistakes on their disability application. Continue reading “Apply Right” 5 star reviews! Woot!

“Apply Right” for Social Security disability benefits

 Need help applying for Social Security disability benefits?

I have moved the content from this post over to the Apply Right page. I have added sample pages, screen shots, reviews, and a whole mess of other goodies there. You can check out the video trailer for “Apply Right.”

I know some people wish “Apply Right” had come out as a physical version (dead tree edition). I do too. Continue reading “Apply Right” for Social Security disability benefits

Request your Social Security Statement online!

Your Social Security Statement is an important tool in applying for Social Security disability benefit. The statement provides a year by year listing of your earnings and an estimate of your retirement and disability benefits.

Social Security used to mail the statement annually, about three months before your birthday.

As of 2011, Social Security no longer mails out the Social Security Statement, except to workers 60 or over who are not yet receiving benefits. However, there is still a way to get your statement! Continue reading Request your Social Security Statement online!

How to check the status of your Social Security disability case

Social Security takes a long time to process disability benefit cases. Here is how to check the status of your claim.

Initial applications for disability benefits:

Social Security has a webpage at http://ssa.gov/claimstatus/ which lets you check your status. Unfortunately, you will probably receive this message:

The following statements are informational only. They are current as of today. You will receive the official notice of any decision made on your claim by U.S. mail. As of today’s date, a decision has not been made on your application. If you need more information, you may call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). SSA representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Other than confirming that there is a claim pending, this doesn’t tell you very much. Fortunately, you can get more information by calling Social Security directly. Continue reading How to check the status of your Social Security disability case

Expedited Social Security Processing for Wounded Warriors

Wounded veterans can get faster expedited processing of their Social Security disability benefit cases (Disability Insurance – DIB, and supplemental security income – SSI) under the Wounded Warrior program.

Note: Social Security disability benefits may be in addition to any benefits paid by the VA.

To have the case flagged under this program (and receive critical case / dire need Continue reading Expedited Social Security Processing for Wounded Warriors

FIRST step to Social Security disability

To quote an old lottery slogan, “you can’t win, if you don’t play.” It may seem obvious, but you cannot receive Social Security disability benefits if you do not apply.

If fact, many Social Security regulations about Social Security eligibility start with this simple requirement: Continue reading FIRST step to Social Security disability

15 pages decides your Social Security disability case?

San Francisco disability attorney Geri Kahn wrote about her experiences with providing records to Social Security:

Before filing a new initial claim I always order the records and then submit them directly to the Social Security field office immediately after I have filed the claim electronically.  I recently was at an interview in one of the field offices in San Francisco and the claims representative told me that he could not accept the records I was submitting because he was only permitted to fax 15 pages to the state agency disability  examiner.

Since you need to prove that you are unable to work to win a Social Security disability claim, Social Security often uses disability examiners to get a medical opinion of what a person can and cannot do.  Disability examiners use the medical records Social Security provides to make this decision.

Then, Social Security uses the disability examiner’s opinion to decide if your condition(s) make you disabled.

Limiting the number of pages sent to a disability examiner, and to 15 pages no less, is ridiculous. 

That is barely a sliver of the amount of information in most cases.  It’s like deciding whether an individual is disabled by seeing if they can walk down a hallway.

Fortunately, most cases get a much better review with judges at the hearing level. If you are denied on your initial application, do not give up. Appeal!

via California Social Security Lawyer Blog.

How long does it take to get a decision in a Social Security disability case?

How long after you complete your application for Social Security disability benefits (or Supplemental Security Income – SSI benefits), does it take to get a decision?

In Colorado where I practice, it usually takes between four and six months after you apply to get the initial decision. Sometimes, Social Security will describe this as between 120 and 180 days.