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Social Security Disability Status or SSI Update in New York

Staying up-to-date on a Social Security Disability or SSI case that is pending in New York goes beyond simply satisfying one's curiosity. There are numerous instances in which a claim had not been transferred from a field office where it had been taken to a claim processign agency (known as DDS, or disability determination services). In instances like that, cases have sat for many weeks with no processing, i.e. no work being done on them.

In other cases, claimants have been sent notices of denial but have not received them; in other words, the claimant did not even learn that they had been denied until they had, at some point, inquired into the status of their case. Obviously, it is often to a claimant's distinct benefit to call for the status on their disability claim.

If your initial disability claim or your reconsideration appeal is pending in New York and you have not heard from SSA in over three months time, you may find it prudent ask for a status update. There are actually two agencies that could give you a status update on your Social Security Disability claim or SSI claim (if your claim is "concurrent", you may have both claims pending).

Where to call

The most obvious choice for a disability status check is the Social Security Administration, meaning that you can either call the local Social Security office, visit that office, or you can call the toll free Social Security number.

However, speaking as a former disability examiner and as someone who has been involved in the representation of disability claims, I can quite easily state that contacting the toll free line is usually a bad idea. There are very few disability representatives (attorneys and advocates) and even field office employees of the social security administration who are not aware of the fact that the toll free line routinely gives out incorrect information. Calling the toll free line, therefore, is not advised.

On the other hand, while contacting a local social security office for other matters is often the best route to take, when it comes to getting the status on a pending disability claim, it is usually not productive. This is because, while the social security office is where claims are filed, it is not where they are actively worked. Claims are processed at DDS (disability determination services). DDS, of course, is the agency that is responsible for making medical determinations on SSD and SSI claims and it is where such cases are assigned to disability examiners.

It is usually best to call the disability examiner

Calling the examiner who is assigned to your pending disability application or reconsideration appeal is usually the most effective means of getting an accurate status of your claim. The examiner can tell you if the claim is still active with no decision made yet, if a decision has been made yet (if so, however, they cannot tell you over the phone what the decision is: you must wait for official notification by mail).

Additionally, the examiner can advise you as to what information is still needed to process the claim, such as medical records from a certain medical provider. While on the phone, the examiner can gather additional information regarding your daily activities, your work history, or your medical history.

How do you get in touch with a disability examiner? The number for DDS (in some states, the agency is not known as disability determination services, but, intead, as the bureau of disability determination, or the divison of disability determination; however, regardless of the actual name that is used, the agency is the same) can be gotten from the local social security office. After calling the DDS number, the caller will be asked for their social security number which will be used to locate their case in the computer system and then put them in touch with the disability examiner who has been assigned to their case.

Lastly, if your disability claim is at the hearings office (meaning that you have already gone through the disability application phase and the reconsideration phase and you have already submitted a formal request for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge), you can do one of the following:

A) You can contact the social security office to get the status of your hearing request. Once again, this will not be productive since the local social security office will not know what is happening at the hearing office. The most that they will be able to tell you is that the hearing has not been scheduled yet (something you already knew, of course).

B) You can contact the hearing office. The number for the hearing office can be obtained from the social security office. What will the hearing office be able to tell you? If the hearing is not scheduled yet, the most they will be able to tell you is whether or not the case has been assigned to a particular ALJ (administrative law judge) and perhaps whether or not the file has gone through work-up for the hearing and is now available on disc for reviewing.

C) You can have your representative, if you have one (a disability attorney or a non-attorney claimant's representative) call the hearing office for you. And, in fact, this is something a representative would ordinarily do periodically to simply check on the case.

  • 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

    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

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | 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 | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

    SSDI SSI disability application
    How to file for Disability and what medical conditions qualify
    How long will it take to get disability?
    What if your disability gets denied?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How to get disability with a mental condition
    How long for Social Security Disability Back pay
    Social Security Disability SSI eligibility
    Will I qualify for disability Benefits in New York
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in New York
    How do Disability Lawyers in New York get paid their fees?