What to do if you get a letter about your disability claim or appeal?

Dealing with SSA on an application for disability can lead to frustration when it comes to the various forms they mail out as part of the disability evaluation process. So here we will point out a couple of things.

1. If a disability examiner sends you a letter (referred to by examiners as call-in letters), requesting that you contact him or her, you should respond immediately. There are a couple of reasons for doing this. First, if you don't, it may affect the processing of your Social Security Disability claim and, second, if you don't it may affect the processing of your disability claim.

Of course, I'm being redundant on purpose, but its worth illustrating the point that you don't need any additional delays on your case, particularly as the system moves slowly enough on its own, anyway.

2. You may, while your disability application is determined or reconsideration appeal is being processed, receive the same form to complete and return more than once. If you do, you can either resubmit the form, or attempt to contact the examiner by phone to determine what specific information is desired.

You should not, however, ignore the form if you've completed it once before. Reason: the examiner may feel that additional information is needed and sending the form a second time may represent an attempt to gather additional information. Granted, if the same form is sent a second time, the examiner should call the claimant to explain why the form is being mailed again simply to eliminate confusion.

However, that doesn't always happen. Major point to remember, though: never ignore official correspondence from the social security administration.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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