Filing for Disability - Can you speed up the Social Security Disability process?

What you can or cannot do to speed up a Social Security Disability or SSI claim depends on where your claim is within the system, meaning the level that it is currently pending at.

Before you have an active Disability Claim

If you have not yet filed a claim but have an appointment for a disability application interview at a social security office, you can make the process go more smoothly and reduce additional processing time by simply having ready all the information that would be required by the claims representative (the CR is the social security employee who does the intake for the disability application and then sends it to a disability examiner so that a medical-vocational decision can be made on the case).

What do you need to bring with you? The following items should probably be taken with you: an original birth certificate, your social security card, information regarding any life insurance policies, stocks, or investments you might have (assets are considered for the SSI disability program, but not for the SSD, or Social Security Disability program), a picture id, proof of marriage or divorce (in the case of disabled widow/widowers claims), and a DD214 if you have prior military service.

You should also bring the following information which will be used by a disability claims examiner to render a decision on your case:

1. A list of all your current medications including the dosages and what they are taken for.

2. A written history of the jobs you have held in the last 15 years--which is the "relevant period" for which the social security administration will review the requirements of your job and compare this to your current level of physical and/or mental functional capacity.

3. A list of all your medical treatment sources. You should be careful to include all of your treatment sources even if you do not think they are crucial to your case. It does happen occasionally that a person will be approved for disability not based on the condition that they think disables them but, rather, based on some other condition that they have and which is documented in a particular doctor's or clinic's records.

When supplying your list of treatment sources, it will be helpful to the disability examiner to include dates of treatment (particularly when you were last seen), names of doctors and clinics and hospitals, and addresses, if possible. Supplying this kind of information can help your case avoid processing slowdowns. Why? Because the most time-consuming part of the disability evaluation process is the wait for medical records after they have been requested by an examiner.

Records requests are typically generated on the very same day that a disability examiner has received a case from the social security office where the claim has been filed. But requests for records cannot be sent out if the examiner is not able to identify the medical provider.

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These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?