What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Social Security Disability Claim Status
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
After a claimant decides to file for social security disability, it is generally several months (3 to 4 months is average, although up to 6 months is possible) before he or she receives a decision notice in the mail.
First, social security forwards the claim to the state agency in charge of making disability determinations (usually known as disability determination services, or DDS) where it is assigned to a disability examiner. The claim may stay with the examiner for several months, during which time you may or may not hear from the examiner (depending on if the examiner needs you to provide more details regarding your medical or work history).
Many claimants spend those months in between filing and receiving a decision with absolutely no knowledge of the status of their social security disability case; not only is this not in the claimantís best interest, but it is also not necessary. It is fairly easy to check up on you claimís progression through the system, if you know where to look.
1. If your case is in the very early stages (if you filed within the past two to three weeks) try calling the social security office to see if your case has been transferred to the state disability determination services (DDS) in your area. Itís a good idea to check up on your case at this pointóthere are some cases in which social security drops the ball entirely and doesnít forward the claim to DDS for consideration. What could be more frustrating than patiently waiting for months to receive word on your claim, only to discover it has been lost on someoneís desk the entire time? Save yourself this unneeded stress and call to make sure your claim even made it out of the social security offices. Also, if you have an address change or a new telephone, call here to report the new information.
2. If you believe your claim has been transferred from social security to disability determination services, call DDS to see if they have assigned your case to a disability examiner, and if itís being actively worked on. If you are unsure of the number of your state disability agency, you can call your local social security department and ask them for the number.
3. If your claim has been denied by DDS and you (or your disability attorney) have requested that an administrative law judge review your case in a disability hearing, call the disability hearing office, known as the office of disability adjudication and review (ODAR), to see if the request is being processed or if the case has been placed on the calendar.
4. If you have a disability lawyer, you may call him or her at any stage of the process to check the status of your claim. Your representative should have an answer ready for you, or at least be able to make one or two phone calls and get back to you with the information.
Remember, it is always best to take an active role in your claim for disability. Do not assume that all is going as it should because you havenít heard anything regarding your case, when a simple phone will tell you exactly where your case stands.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials