How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Who knows more about Social Security Disability?

I had a conversation with another individual who was once affiliated with the Social Security Disability system and the question came up -- Who knows more about Social Security Disability? Lawyers? Disability examiners? Social Security field office claims reps? In actuality, there's no easy answer to such a question.

Disability Lawyers, as opposed to disability examiners and claims reps, typically know much more about the hearing process, particularly when it comes to the nuts and bolts operation of the disability hearing offices with which they must deal on a routine basis. And when it comes to filing a disability appeal beyond the ALJ (administrative law judge) level, lawyers have substantially more knowledge, simply because CRs (claims reps) have little to do with these appeal steps and examiners have nothing to do with these appeal steps.

When it comes to the medical processing end of an application for Social Security Disability or SSI, of course, a disability lawyer or a social security claims rep will have scant knowledge of the way things work. But this is what most disability examiners do on a daily basis (order medical records, review them, consult with unit psychologists and medical doctors, make functional capacity assessments, and make decisions on cases). And without ever having done the job, neither a lawyer nor a claims rep would ever have the ability to understand how cases are really developed at a DDS (disability determination services).

By and large, disability examiners probably know the most about disability case development at the initial claim and reconsideration levels. At the hearing level, lawyers and non attorney claimant's representatives have the advantage.

However, when it comes to the area of how a Social Security Disability or SSI claim gets started in the first place, no one knows as much as a claims rep. After all, these individuals are the ones who take applications, interview disability claimants for the first time, and, in the case of SSI, have to research issues regarding income and resources.

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Related pages:

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How to File for SSI
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Disability for a mental condition
Tips for Filing for disability
Financial Help Filing For Disability
Checklist for filing for disability, SSI or SSD
Qualifying for disability benefits, how to qualify for SSD or SSI
Filing a disability application: the steps
Disability award notice, how long it takes to get benefits
How to Apply for Disability - Where do I go?
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How to check my disability claim status?
Can a disability attorney speed up a disability case?
SSI disability Award Letter
How long to get approved for disability?
How to apply for disability benefits
How long does disability back pay take?
What are qualifications for getting disability?
What medical conditions can you file disability for?
Disability Lawyer help questions
Social Security Attorneys, Disability Representatives

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.