Very few applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are approved during the initial application. Most people have to wait many months and often years for a disability hearing where they will have the best chance at winning a disability claim. The good news is that once your claim is approved, you will receive back pay for the past months where you were eligible to receive disability benefits. The bad news is that many people are forced to endure a financial hardship while waiting for a disability claim to be approved. The Social Security Administration (SSA) can expedite a disability application for those who have a disability that is covered in the Compassionate Allowance Initiative.
The Compassionate Allowances initiative is designed to expedite the approval process for applicants with the most severe disabilities and illnesses. The approval process for those who qualify under this initiative can be completed within days. The original list of disabilities that qualify for the expedited decision process included 50 illnesses. 38 more disabilities and illnesses were added to the list and effective as of March 1st, 2010. (http://www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances/).
If you don’t qualify for the Compassionate Allowance, there are steps you can take to try and expedite your disability application. Here are some suggestions:
• Have proper identification when you make your claim: Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Driver’s License, etc.
• Know the date that you stopped working due to your impairment.
• Provide a complete work history and list all of your employers for the last 15 years.
• Write down the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any medical source you have seen. If you just provide “Dr. Smith in San Diego, California” it could take a while to find the correct Dr. Smith. It will go much faster if you provide accurate names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
• You can bring copies of your medical records to SSA and have the records placed in your application file to assure the best turnaround time.
• If your doctor has given you any written instructions that limit your activities, have a copy placed in your file. The date the restriction started and the date it might end are very important to your decision.
• Send forms back to Social Security and the Disability Determination Service as quickly as possible. The vast majority of the time it takes to complete a claim is spent waiting on forms and medical reports.
• Keep yourself informed about your claim. Ask questions if something is not clear to you. If Disability Determination Services or the Social Security Administration are waiting for something, see if you can make a call to help expedite the claim. Many times a doctor will respond to a patient before they will respond to a government agency.
• You might be asked to explain your “Daily Activities.” Answers to these questions are very valuable and may make the difference as to whether your claim is allowed. It is not the length of the answer that helps. What helps is how specifically you answer the questions. Give examples. Mention any limitations.
We have helped many people just like you get disability benefits. If your application for SSDI or SSI has been denied, do not give up. Let us help you get the benefits that you need. Contact Jorgensen Law with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles or Riverside, California. For assistance, schedule a free consultation at our office by email or by calling 866.587.9176.
Representing SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY and SSI claims in the following counties and cities: San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, and the Inland Empire. In San Diego, we specifically work with Fallbrook, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, La Jolla, Lemon Grove, National City, Spring Valley, Vista, San Marcos, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Ramona, Murrieta, Moreno Valley, corona, San Bernardino, Fontana, Ontario, and Imperial Valley.