How can I avoid delays in my SSD case?If you are disabled and unable to work you have probably applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Now it is time for you to wait. One of the most common Social Security Disability questions asked by a claimant is- how long do I have to wait to receive my disability benefits and what can I do to expedite the processing of my Social Security Disability claim?
First, it is important to understand why the process to evaluate Social Security Disability claims takes so long. The Social Security Administration receives thousands of disability claims each year, and they are generally understaffed to process every claim quickly. Most of the delay in processing time however, is due to the length of time it takes for the Disability Determinations Services Office to request and receive medical records from the claimants medical sources.
The Social Security Administration may wait weeks or months to receive medical documents, and it may take several more weeks to evaluate the medical information and make their disability determination. What happens if the claimant fails to provide detailed or accurate information about the medical treatment they have received? What happens if the Disability Determination examiner decides they do not have adequate information to make a disability claim?
If the medical records supplied by the medical sources are insufficient the disability examiner will require the claimant to visit a Consultative Examiner or CE. The Consultative Examiner is not a government employee, and they are supposed to provide an objective analysis about the claimants mental or physical health condition.
If the claimant fails to provide accurate contact information for their medical records the Social Security Administration will have to spend additional time contacting the claimant or the medical information requested may be incomplete.
This leads us to the questions posed earlier. What is the most important thing a claimant can do to expedite their Social Security Disability claim?
1. Make sure you are not working at a substantial gainful activity level. If you are working too many hours or at a substantial level your claim will be automatically denied.
2. Make sure you have a disabling health condition which is expected to last at least 12 months or result in your death. Social Security Disability benefits are not given for partial or short-term disabilities.
3. Talk to a Social Security Disability lawyer who can give you advice on whether or not you have a valid Social Security Disability claim and what information should be included in your Social Security Disability application.
4. Seek medical care. Even if you can not afford to see a doctor regularly it is important to get some type of medical care and begin building your Social Security Disability case. Medical care may be provided at free health clinics or a small outpatient clinic. Begin building a rapport with your doctor and talking to them about your Social Security Disability claim.
5. Review your medical records. You have the legal ability to request copies of your medical records. Many claimants are surprised by what is and is not included in their file. Hundreds of Social Security Disability claimants have files which contain medical records which are illegible. Your Social Security Disability lawyer can not present a solid Social Security Disability case if they can not read your medical records. This is something that could be evaluated and corrected early in your medical care.
If you can not work and you have a severe mental or physical health condition, do not wait to file your Social Security Disability claim. Although the condition must be severe and be expected to last 12 months, you do not have to wait 12 months to file your claim. Contact a Social Security Disability lawyer today for more information.