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5 Important steps AFTER you file for SSA disability benefits

If you have submitted your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application you may wonder if there are any additional steps you can take to expedite your case. Unfortunately, most of the work should have been done prior to submitting your claim, but there may a few steps you can take to ensure that your disability application is processed as soon as possible.

What do I do AFTER I submit my SSI or SSDI application?

Tired of sitting around and waiting to hear from the SSA? Thinking maybe there steps you should be taking now? Here are five things you can do:

  1. Check to make sure the SSA has receiving your disability application. This can be done either by calling them (1-800-772-1213) or going to their website and using their check application status link. I am always perplexed by disability applicants who ask us why they have not heard from the SSA in over a year and wonder the status of their SSI or SSDI claim. If you have not heard from the SSA in 120 days after you submit your disability application, it is time to call them.

  2. Complete all forms requested by the SSA immediately. If the SSA calls you, call them back. If they send you a form, fill it out. If they need you to go to see a consultative examiner, go see a consultative examiner as soon as possible. Wasted days easily turn into months and before you know it you have waited over a year to get your disability benefits.

  3. Talk to a lawyer if you are denied SSDI or SSI benefits. Many disability applicants are hesitant to seek legal help. Some people may not realize that lawyers provide free consultations and only get paid if you win. Do you lose out on some of the money you would have received by getting legal help? Sure, but the alternative is floundering in the SSA system for years or never getting your benefits approved.

  4. Find out about the SSI and SSDI process. There are thousands of websites with information about the disability process. Spending just 30 minutes to 1 hour may be all you need to do to get your questions answered and to understand the steps you should take to appeal your case and not miss important disability deadlines.

  5. If you are denied make sure to appeal your case within 60 days. Many applicants do not understand that they can appeal most disability denials, and instead, they simply apply over and over again. This is generally not beneficial. Most claimants who are denied the first time they apply, assuming they meet the nonmedical requirements of SSDI or SSI, will benefit from getting their SSI or SSDI claim before an administrative law judge where they can plead their case. To accomplish this you will have to appeal your case.

The worst thing any disability applicant can do is to sit back and wait for the SSA to do anything. Call them periodically; make sure they have all the information they need, and ask them what you can do to expedite your case.