Calling about your Social Security Disability Claim (can prevent problems)

After you file for disability, should you call about your claim, and, if so, when and how often? The fundamental answer to the question is, Yes, you should periodically check on your case after you submit your application. In fact, you should conduct some type of status call after you submit any application or appeal to the social security administration.

Here's a good reason why. In my own state of North Carolina, I've spoken to hundreds of claimants who decided to file for disability and wait patiently for an answer, usually several months. During that time, of course, they wondered what was happening with their claim. However, since they knew from speaking with others that the process is notoriously slow, they didn't think it was necessary to call and check on their case.

This is what some of them found. In the case of disability applications, some found that while they continued to wait on an answer, a decision had already been made on their case. In fact, the decision had been made so long ago that the 60 day period in which a claimant is entitled to file a disability appeal had already elapsed. In the case of disability appeals, some claimants who patiently waited on an answer regarding their claim...eventually discovered that the appeal they had mailed in had never been received, or had been lost.

Any time you submit a disability application or disability appeal to the social security administration, you need to check on its status and for these reasons.

1. You need to make sure that what you sent in was actually received. This could include disability application paperwork, disability appeal paperwork, or a questionaire that was mailed to you to complete and return such as a work history report.

2. If what you sent in was not received, by calling and verifying this fact, you can take action to make sure you get this information in to social security (your social security office can get duplicate forms out to you very quickly).

3. You can avoid missing an all-important deadine. In the case of filing a disability appeal, missing a deadline without good cause can mean having to start over with a brand new application, losing several months of processing time on a claim.

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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