Overview of Disability

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How to win Disability

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Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

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What disability claimants get angry about - Part I

Applicants for social security disability and SSI benefits get angry about quite a few things as they apply for benefits or appeal a denial of a claim. And here's just one: finding out several months after they've filed an application that their case was never sent from the social security office to a disability examiner.

For those who aren't aware, let me briefly define the process a bit. When a person files for disability benefits, they typically apply at a social security field office and the application is taken by a CR, or claims representative. After the application is taken, it is forwarded to the agency in that state that is responsible for making medical determinations on disability claims.

At this agency, a claimant's case is assigned to a disability examiner who will gather a claimant's records, evaluate them in consultation with medical and/or psychological consultants, and then render a decision.

In most states, this agency is called one of the following names: disability determination division, disability determination services, the bureau of disability determination, or the disability determination bureau. But, regardless of the name that's used in a particular state, these agencies all perform the same purpose and they tend to do the job fairly decently (except for the part about denying most claims, of course). However, they can't do the job at all when they never receive a claimant's disability application from the social security office where it was filed.

How often does this happen? Probably not that often. But over the past several years, I've witnessed far too many situations where this has occurred even in my own local area.

This is what usually happens.

1. A claimant or their representative (a lawyer or non attorney) will decide to check the status of a pending claim.

2. If the application was filed some time ago (at least a few weeks ago), a call will be made to disability determination services to find out who the disability examiner is.

3. If the case was never sent from the social security office to the state agency, the claimant or their representative will be informed that "nothing is pending", meaning no examiner was assigned to the case because the case was never sent and is likely still on someone's desk at the social security office.

How should a claimant react to such news? If the filing of a disability application was only filed a couple of weeks prior to making this status call, the claimant should understand that this is fairly reasonable. After all, the social security administration is a huge bureaucracy and most things take a little time.

If the status call is made several months after the disability application was filed and the case has still not been transferred to a disability examiner, the claimant has every right to be angry and outraged simply because no work will have been performed on their case in all that time. In such instances, voicing a complaint to a field office or district office manager is not a bad idea and may be the quickest way to get their case moving forward.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

First appeal for Social Security Disability SSI
File a disability appeal if denied
How long does a disability appeal take?
How long do you have to appeal a Social Security denial?
How to file and do a disability appeal
Tips for Social Security Disability Psychological and mental testing
How Long does a Social Security Disability Determination take After Seeing the Psychologist?
Social Security Disability Mental Psychological Exam and Questions that get Asked
Does social security deny strong disability claims?
Social Security Disability is different from VA disability
Why are you denied the first time you are denied for disability?
What Happens To Social Security Disability Benefits After Divorce?
Can I do What I want with my Social Security Back Pay?
How much information should you put on a disability application?
What disability claimants get angry about - Part I
Social Security and not getting the medical records
Social Security Disability will sometimes order X-rays but never an MRI

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida