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

Denied Twice for Disability, Will a Congressman be Able to Help?

A questioner wrote the following: "I've been turned down twice and I've been told my next appeal will take even longer. Is there anyone who can help on this? Should I write my congressman?"

It sounds as though your claim may be at the level of a disability hearing before an administrative law judge (you said you had been denied twice and I am assuming you are referring to a denial on an initial claim and a second denial on a request for reconsideration, which is the first appeal available to claimants).

If this is the case, contacting a congressman can have some potential benefits. This would be known as a congressional inquiry and it is conducted by a staff person at a congressman's office. Basically, it simply means that the staffer will contact the hearing office to check the status of a pending request for a hearing.

I've seen situations where this can have a favorable effect on the time it takes to schedule a hearing, which, without a doubt, is the one step in the disability evaluation process that consumes the most precious time (I say precious because so many applicants for disability wind up teetering on the financial brink at some point due to the fact that the process is so ridiculously long).

Should you contact a congressman's office if your claim is not at the hearing level, but, say, at the initial claim or reconsideration level? I wouldn't dissuade someone from doing this but, thus far, I haven't really seen evidence that this is helpful or productive. At the hearing level it can potentially move the scheduling of a hearing along faster.

You should also keep in mind that no politician will be able to exert any influence whatsoever on the outcome of a claim. There seems to be a myth out there that this can be done; however, if this was the case then the federal disability system would quickly devolve into something very corrupt and lacking any integrity. So, in brief, no, a congressman cannot help you "win" disability; he or she can typically only move a hearing request through the system faster.

Essential Questions

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Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

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Related pages:

Social Security Disability, medium work, and your records
SSD, SSI, and medium, light, and sedentary work
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
The Social Security Award Notice
What Are The Odds of Winning A Social Security Disability Appeal?
What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
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Picking the right disability attorney
Free Legal Representation for Social Security Disability or SSI claims
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Filing for Disability - Blind in one eye and a Learning Disability, Do I have a Case?
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These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What mental problems qualify for disability?
SSI disability status
How to prove you qualify for disability
Qualifying for disability eligibility requirements
How Does Social Security Decide If You Are Disabled
How much does disability pay?
Factors involved in Winning SSDI or SSI Claims
Applying for disability with Degenerative Disc Disease
How long to get a Social Security decision letter?
What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
The amount of back pay that you receive
Social Security medical disability determination process
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security Disability benefits?
How Long Does A Social Security Disability Appeal Take?
How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
Can you work if you get SSI disability?
Social Security Disability attorney fees
Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?
What are the non medical requirements for disability
How to get SSI
Approved for disability benefits
SSD SSI disability hearing decision

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.