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

Tips for Filing a Disability Appeal in South Carolina

Generally speaking, most claimants in South Carolina should be fine filing their own appeals. However, here are some ways in which claimants "miss the mark" when they file a disability appeal on their own.

1. They often wait far too long to file an appeal. As in not even thinking about it until five days before the appeal deadline. This, of course, is not a good approach to handing disability appeals but it happens all the time. And guess what, the deadline for sending in an appeal does not mean that the envelope you send the appeal in (assuming you are mailing it) must be postmarked by the deadline. It must actually be received at the social security office by the deadline date (which, by the way, is 60 days from the date of denial plus five additional days for mailing).

2. Claimants who do their own appeals often to forget to make a copy of the paperwork for their own records. Always keep a copy of anything you send in to the social security office, if, for no other reason than to keep track of what has happened, or has been done, on your case.

3. Claimants sometimes make the mistake of thinking that a new disability application is an appeal. Sounds illogical of course, but I've seen this happen more times than I can count. Note: they are not the same. In other words, if you get denied, file an appeal, not a new claim (unless the first claim was denied because you were working and earning too much, or the claim was for SSI and you exceeded the $2000 asset resource limit).

4. Claimants sometimes fail to indicate relevant information on their appeal paperwork, such as new dates of treatment, a change in their condition, or a new diagnosis.

Here's something else to consider when you file your own appeal and this one applies to those who file their Social Security Disability appeal or SSI disability appeal online: if you are filing a request for reconsideration appeal and you are doing it online, make sure you also submit the Appeal Disability Report (form SSA-3441) and the medical release forms (form SSA-827). The information given by SSA online makes repeated references to the Appeal Disability Report.

However, what does not seem to be mentioned is that, without the receipt of signed medical release forms, a reconsideration appeal cannot be transferred from the social security office to the state disability agency (to be assigned to a disability examiner). This is not the case with an appeal that is a "request for hearing". Those appeals are sent on to the hearing office. Reconsiderations, however, are held up if the SSA-827 medical release forms have not been sent in. This last bit of information, by the way, comes courtesy of a social security field office CR (claims rep) that I know.

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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.