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

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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.

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?

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.