Social Security Disability RC

How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
Social Security Disability list of impairments
How to Qualify for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyers FAQ, Disability Back Pay

Tips for Filling out a Social Security Disability Application in Florida

Applying for disability benefits from SSA (the social security administration) can be a depressing prospect. And it can be nerve-wrenching. And it can be confusing. Here are a few tips for filing a Social Security Disability (or SSI) application in Florida that may be helpful to prospective applicants.

Here's the first tip. When you apply for disability and begin to complete your disability application and disability report form with your local social security office, you need to make sure that you indicate your dates of treatment. By this, I mean your dates of treatment with your primary treating physician, and any hospitals or clinics you've been seen at.

Why do you want to indicate your dates of treatment on your SSD or SSI disability application? Obviously, you need to supply your sources of treatment because the disability examiner who will be assigned to work on your case (the social security office takes the claim, but it is forwarded to a state disability agency where it is actually processed and a disability determination is rendered) will need to request your medical records.

However, you need to suppy your dates of treatment because if you have not been to a doctor any time recently (within the last two months, from the perspective of the social security administration), the disability examiner may need to schedule you for a social security medical exam.

These exams, formally known as CE's, or consultative examinations, are for the purpose of gathering a "recent" medical snapshot. Typically, they provide very little information that is actually useful to the examiner for arriving at a decision on a disability case. However, nonetheless, they are usually required when a claimant has not been seen by a doctor recently.

Consultative exams are not difficult in any sense. A claimant is simply scheduled for one (these are conducted by independent physicians who do not work for the social security administration), goes to the appointment which often lasts just 10-20 minutes, and, after the examination is conducted, a report is generated by the examining doctor and is sent to the disability examiner who is handling the claimant's case.

Consultative exams, however, do add processing time to a disability case. This is because they A) have to be scheduled, B) have to be attended, C) the reports issued by the examining doctor usually take about 2 weeks (officially, doctors are given 10 business days in which to submit their CE reports), and D) the report has to be added to the medical evidence in the social security file.

Processing time on an SSD or SSI case, of course, is not something any claimant should want more of. Simply because more processing time means more time waiting for a claimant to be awarded disability benefits.

Therefore, if it turns out that a claimant needs to go to a CE, this needs to be discovered sooner rather than when the medical records eventually come in---as it can take weeks or months for a disability examiner to actually receive all the medical records that have been requested for a claimant.

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For the sake of clarity, 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 homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.