Learning Center

The Importance of Good Medical Records

Since your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim will be evaluated completely on the contents of your medical records, you need to get regular medical treatment.

 

Social Security Disability Appeals Process

You will find that applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a long complicated process. Unfortunately, when you apply for disability, your application is probably going to be denied. Only about 30% of applications for disability are approved. If your application is denied, do not give up, you can still be awarded benefits through the appeals process. We have helped thousands of people just like you win their disability cases.

 

Preparing for a Social Security Disability Hearing

If you have been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at the initial application level and reconsideration appeal level then the next step in the appeals process is a Social Security Disability Hearing. This hearing is where you will have your best chance at winning your disability claim. It is critical to the success of your claim that you be properly prepared for your hearing.

 

Qualifying for Medicare, Medicaid or Medi-cal

There are two major benefits that you can get if you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The first benefit is a monthly check that can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The second benefit is health insurance. If you are approved for SSDI or SSI, you may also qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or Medi-cal.

 

What is SSDI and how do I get it?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program of the United States government. It is managed by the Social Security Administration and is funded by a payroll tax. SSDI is designed to provide income to people who are unable to work because of a disability.

 

DDS Examiner vs ALJ

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, one of two people will decide if your disability qualifies you for benefits. These 2 people are the DDS examiner and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

 

Medical Vocational Allowance

A Medical Vocational Allowance, or Med-voc, is a term used by Disability Determination Services (DDS) when approving a disability claim that does not match a disability in the official Listing of Impairments.

 

The Role of an Administrative Law Judge

An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is an official who presides at an administrative trial-type hearing to resolve a dispute between a government agency and someone affected by a decision of that agency. The Social Security Administration has a branch called the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). In this branch, there are over 1,100 administrative law judges nationwide. There are 141 hearing offices in the United States where these administrative law judges conduct hearings for the Social Security.

 

Tips to Help Win Your Claim

Applying for SSDI or SSI?

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Success

National figures show that approximately 70 percent of all initial applications for Social Security Disability benefits are denied by the Social Security Administration. If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), here are some tips that may improve your chances for success on initial application or appeal.

 

Consultative Exams

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you may receive a letter in the mail informing you that you have an appointment for a consultative examination (CE). Many people refer to a CE as a Social Security medical exam.

 

Continuing Disability Review

After you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefitsthe Social Security Administration will periodically review your case to make sure that you are still disabled. This review is called a Continuing Disability Review (CDR).

 

DDS Examiner vs ALJ

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, one of two people will decide if your disability qualifies you for benefits. These 2 people are the DDS examiner and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

 

Disability Determination Services (DDS)

Disability Determination Services (commonly referred to as DDS) is a state agency funded by the United States Federal Government. Their purpose is to make decisions on disability eligibility for the Social Security Administration (SSA).

 

How Working Affects Disability Benefits

Substantial Gainful Activity

When applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is one of the factors that will be used to determine your eligibility for disability benefits. Basically, if you are earning income from employment that exceeds a certain amount, then you are said to be engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity and you may not qualify for disability benefits.

 

Help! I’m being sent to a Social Security Doctor

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your claim is sent to a state agency called Disability Determination Services (DDS). In some cases, the DDS might ask you to have a consultative examination (CE exam). These exams are done at the request of the DDS examiner and are performed by an independent medical doctor who has been contracted by the Social Security Administrations (SSA) and DDS to perform these exams.

 

Medical and Vocational Expert Witnesses

When you attend your hearing for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there might be a Medical Expert Witness and/or a Vocational Expert Witness in attendance. These witnesses come from a panel of experts selected by Social Security. The judge who presides over the hearing will decide if he wants a medical and/or vocational expert at the hearing. When you receive your hearing notice, it will tell you if a medical and/or vocational expert will be at your hearing.

 

Medical Vocational Allowance

A Medical Vocational Allowance, or Med-voc, is a term used by Disability Determination Services (DDS) when approving a disability claim that does not match a disability in the official Listing of Impairments.