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Calling about your social security disability or SSI case

You or your disability attorney or disability representative will want to check the status of the claim periodically, if for no other reason than to avoid missing an appeal deadline (because, for whatever reason, you did not get your mailed copy of the denial notice).

Despite the fact that status calls are a very good thing to do, if you call to get the status of your disability claim, nine times out of ten you will be told that your claim is still pending. What does this mean? Simply that your case is still being worked on, wherever it happens to be--which could, depending on the level of your SSD or SSI claim, be the hearing office or with a disability examiner at disability determination services.

On this page, I'll answer a few basic questions regarding the status of a social security disability or SSI claim. First of all,

When to check the status of the case

1. How often should you call to get the status of your claim? Frankly, you probably shouldn't need to do this very often. That's because claim processing can take quite a while. It's not uncommon for a disability application to be in processing for six months or longer.

The same holds true for reconsideration appeals. And if your case is at the hearing level, either waiting for a hearing to be scheduled, or waiting for a decision to be made following a hearing, the wait could be much longer.

Having said that, though, it is not a bad idea to call every 90 days or so to check the status of your claim. By doing this, you can avoid the unenviable situation in which a decision has been made and you were not aware of that fact, thus losing the opportunity to file an appeal.

Of course, if you have representation in the form of a disability attorney or representative, that individual or firm should be able to quite easily obtain the current status of your claim at any given time should you request it.

2. Where do you call to get the status of the claim? If the case is being worked on as a disability application or as a reconsideration appeal, the person you will need to speak with is the disability examiner who has been assigned to the case and who will be making the decision.

Often, it can be difficult to find the number for the Disability Determination Services agency in your state so that you can speak with the examiner, but this number can always be obtained from the Social Security office.

If your case is at the hearing level, meaning you have either requested a disability hearing, or you have had a hearing and are waiting on a decision, then you will want to contact the hearing office. Calling the Social Security office will not yield any useful information in most instances. That said, the hearing office will usually not be in a position to tell you much beyond "the hearing is still waiting to be scheduled" or "no decision has been made".

If you have representation, it would be practical to leave status calls to that individual.

3. If you call to obtain the status of your disability claim and you are told that a decision has been made, will you be told what that decision was? No, as a disability examiner, I was acutely aware of the fact that even if a decision had been made on a case, this information could not be passed on to an inquiring claimant over the phone.

From the social security administration's standpoint, the only proper way to notify the claimant was through the written notice that is mailed out. Why is this the case? Because some claims are selected for a quality control review at something called DQB (the disability quality branch).

At DQB, a claim that has been pulled for review can potentially be changed. In other words, an approval can be changed to a denial, and a denial can be changed to an approval (though it is usually the other way around). When this happens, it is because DQB reviewed the decision made by the disability examiner and found that the examiner was in error, in the application of a medical-vocational rule, or in the interpretation of the claimant's medical evidence.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    What is usually the status of your social security disability or SSI case?
    Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
    Social Security Disability Claim Status- Monitor your case
    How long does it take to get a decision on Social Security disability or SSI?
    Getting your Social Security Disability Claim Status in Illinois
    How to Get the Status on Your Social Security Disability Claim in North Carolina
    Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Status in Florida
    Social Security Disability Status or SSI Update in New York

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

    Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
    How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
    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?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
    Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria