Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I will start to update more frequently soon
I have not had allot of time to post recently but expect to have time soon and will do my best to post as frequently as I
have in the past. If you have questions feel free to e-mail me as I try and get to those questions every day or two.
Just a little reminder to stay involved in your case, get in all your medical records that are relevant and learn as much
as you can by reading this site and other sites such as the SSA website. The more you know about Social Security Disability
the better chance you have of winning your claim whether you have a lawyer or not. Good Luck and I will be writing on
some new topics soon.
8:24 pm edt
Saturday, July 21, 2007
How to make sure claim gets through the SSA process quickly
I am frequently asked how one can speed up their claim for Social Security Disability or SSI. The best advice I can
give is to make sure you get all your medical evidence in as fast as you can including RFCs and reports from your doctors.
If SSA asks you for information, get it to them as fast as possible. There is not much you can do about delays on the
government end of a claim but you can make sure everything on your side of the claim is handled timely. You will also
want to keep track of your claim every few months or so but not more frequently than that since you will will only cause your
case to be slowed down if you are constantly checking on it. When you do check on your claim always ask if they are
waiting for anything from you. Frequently SSA may be waiting for something from you and either you were never notified
or you simply you were confused by one of SSA's less than clear letters to you. If you have a lawyer check with
your lawyer from time to time and let them check up on your case since they are familiar with the usual time-line and know
when a case needs to be checked up on.
10:07 pm edt
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Will SSA be implementing Quick Disability Determinations
Right now being tested is a new computer program that screens claims for quick determinations in Social Security Disability
and SSI cases. It looks like with the promising results SSA has had with this program that it could soon be released
nation wide. The program screens cases to determine cases that have a good chance of being favorable and referring them
to a special group that determines if the case can be fast tract to a favorable decision. According to the SSA seventy
nine percent of the claims referred in the test group were decided favorably with in 20 days. Sixteen percent were determined
favorable above the 20 days. Five percent were not medically allowed. Seven of the ten diagnosis most frequently
referred were cancer cases. The other three were premature birth rate under 1200 grams, chronic renal failure, and autistic
disorder. This new program appears to be a very positive improvement to initial determinations and I hope it is implemented
to the whole system soon since it will provide almost immediate favorable decisions to obvious cases. Hopefully this
will also be able to cut down processing time of other cases by reducing the amount of cases that go through the normal process.
Those opposed to using computer programs to speed up the disability process will have a hard time arguing with statistics
like those shown above. We are only talking about clear cut cases but one wonders whether the use of computer programs
like this will not become a bigger part of the Social Security Disability and SSI process.
7:23 pm edt
Update to last post on medical listings
The Social Security Administration has released a new deadline for changes to the medical listing of impairments. There
was supposed to be several changes to the medical listings by July of this year. It looks like SSA is giving itself
another year to implement these changes and the listings will remain the same for now. If SSA finishes any of the new
listings they will announce it. So for time being nothing has been changed recently.
7:03 pm edt
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
New Medical Listings for SSDI and SSI
I was recently asked about SSA's plan to update their medical listing of impairments. At the last conference I was
at they talked about working on changing many of the medical listings to bring them up to date and making them more understandable
and easier to implement. I have not heard anything new on the progress but will post anything I hear and update
the medical listing page on my site when they change. I would also like to say I hope you all had a nice holiday.
8:35 pm edt
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Social Security Disability Hearings
The biggest problem with Social Security Disability hearings, in my opinion, is that the ALJ who is assigned to your
case can be the largest factor in whether you win or not. There needs to be more uniformity in how decisions are
made. I find that when I look at my schedule of hearings I first look to see who the ALJ is even before studying
the case. I noticed this the other day and it leads me to believe there is a fundamental problem with the way hearings
are decided. The good news is that I do find that the Appeals Council appears to know this too and does a pretty
good job of sending back cases to be reconsidered by the ALJ. The only problem with this is that you almost always get
sent back to the same ALJ. The reason the case is sent back to the same ALJ is so the ALJ learns the reasons why the
case was sent back. The problem with this is that many ALJs don't like to get remanded and take the position
that the Appeals Council will remand for any reason instead of actually wondering why the case was remanded. The problem
is somewhat relieved by the fact that if you have the same ALJ twice you get a new ALJ for the third hearing but this can
6:55 pm edt