CALIFORNIA Social Security Disability STATUS

Social Security Disability Status on a Case in California

The social security administration is not in the habit of automatically updating claimants with regard to what is happening on their Social Security Disability or SSI disability case. And, in fact, it may not even be reasonable to expect this given how many files are being processed at any one time.

Fortunately, an individual in California who has filed a claim or appeal for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits is allowed to make inquiries and check into the status of their disability case. However, in many instances, disability applicants call the wrong agency. Where you should call for a status check really depends on what level your case is at in the system.

Here's a short list of where to call if your SSD or SSI claim (or appeal) is pending:

1. If you have filed a Social Security Disability or SSI claim and have an immediate question that you'd like answered, you may wish to contact the social security office where you applied. Reason: even if they have transferred your case to the state agency (known in most states as disability determination services or the bureau of disability determination), the likelihood is that not a lot of case processing will have occured there yet.

2. If you have a question about the status of your case and it has been at least a few weeks since you made your application, you should probably try to contact the disability examiner who has been assigned to your case. Getting a disability examiner on the phone is usually a lot easier than trying to get someone at the social security office on the phone (in other words, in most cases, you shouldn't have to call 50,000 times before someone actually answers the phone). But here's the catch: to get the number for the state agency where your disability examiner is located, you will probably have to call the social security office first.

3. If you are waiting for a disability hearing to be scheduled and you are curious as to the status of your request, don't call the social security office or disability determination services. Neither of these agencies will be able to tell you anything. Instead, call the actual hearing office. Again, you can try to get this number from the social security office, or, if you have a lawyer working on your case, your lawyer can check the status for you.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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