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I need some advice about how and where to start with filing for SSD.

krazyangelkkrazyangel Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Health Insurance Issues
Hello I am krazyangel aka Theresa. I had surgery back in April of this year. Now, I am waiting for to get approve for the SCS. I am trying to get some advice on how or the easiest way to file for SSD. I was told to go ahead and to get it started but I dont know where to start. I have been studying up on it but I tell you there is alot to it and I got confused very fast. So, if anyone has any advice please PM me and I hope one day I can help someone in the same way. Thanks alot Theresa


  • Theresa,

    You can file your claim 3 different ways.

    1 - Contact your local Social Security Administration office. You can call the national toll free number (800-772-1213) and listen to the prompts to find out which number best suits your needs.

    2 - You can go in to your local SSA without an appointment. Be prepared to wait - they work in the walk ins in-between those with appointments.

    3 - Go to www.ssa.gov Look for the icon stating "File a Disability CLaim" and do it on-line.

    Before you do any of this, though, you will want to have your ammunition ready:

    Write down all the names and addresses (or at least a phone number) of the doctors or clinics/hospitals where you've received treatment, and the dates of treatment.

    Have a list of all medication and dosage

    Have a list of every job you've had within the last 15 years. If you've done the same duties, but at different places, you could just write down the names of your employers and estimated dates of employment without repeating your duties each time. Be sure to comment something like "See Job #1 for duties" or something like that.

    Also, list everything you've been treated for; not just your back problems. If you have high blood pressure, or wear glasses, or have learning difficulties, etc. No matter how insignificant you think they are, you should list them... SSA will take everything into consideration when making the final decision. If your GP is giving you medication for depression or anxiety, be sure to list that. If you have no specific treatment for those ailments, SSA will schedule an examination just to get a feel for how severe it is.

    I hope this information is helpful. Take care, and good luck with your claim.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Also, consider getting an SS attorney. They can be well worth it as long as you find one that has a primary practice in disability. There are a few first out there that will do all the information gathering for you or at least aid the situation.

    I anticipate having to apply in a few months if I don't have the ability to return to work and I have already chosen the SS disabilty firm I am going to work with.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • An attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability is a Godsend when helping navigate through the maze that is the social security disability process. HOWEVER, I would not hire one until after you are denied (if you are denied). The reason being is that attorneys generally don't do a whole lot for you on your initial claim level. You can contact them all you want but you will be the one doing all the leg-work. If you happen to be approved, they will still reap the benefit (well, 1/4 of your benefit that is your back pay)without having "earned" their fee. The disability office is not impressed with attorney representation, and won't handle your claim any differently.

    After you are denied, they are like manna from heaven. They will assist in filing appeals, requesting all your updated medical records and submitting to the Judge, and of course, they will go to the hearing with you and plead your case.

    Ultimately, that's your decision.

    BUT, good luck with your claim!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    There are many SS Attorney's that have staff that will do all the legwork in gathering medical information. So this is a good question to ask them when choosing an attorney. The office I will be using does all the initial work for the person which is an amazing service.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • i filed online and i have already got the paper work and sent everything back to them. the only thing i cant remember is that if they didnt ask alot my how many children i have or ask for their SSN. So i think i might need to call them or send them a letter. If you have any advice about that please let me know. I know they ask about my hubby. What should I do?
  • I would just call them and ask. I can't imagine that question is not on there, but I had no dependent children when I filed.

    Take care,

  • Be prepared to get turned down i did twice,get a didability lawyer one that doesnt charge till you get your ssd,i had to go before a judge here in pa with my lawyer,i was approved in 1993 my buddy had stomach cancer and was turned down twice 3 months after he was dead his wife got a letter from ssd saying he was approved.That is the games they play,GOOD LUCK Rick ncpa
  • I would not worry much about that just yet. SSA will need this information if you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits, but it's not real important at this stage in the game.

    Once your claim is assigned to a Disability Examiner, they will send you a letter to let you know they have your file and are working on it. You can contact your specific examiner at that point.

    Once the local disability office receives your file, they will request all of your medical records (and any non-medical information) needed and they will pay for it. They will type up the letters to your doctor, they will also pay the postage to mail letters to the doctors and also send self-addressed/stamped envelopes for their convenience in sending the records back to them.

    Anything an attorney would do during the initial stage of your claim would be duplication of this, and the attorneys know that. They will generally sit back and let the disability office do all the work. Now, if there is a doctor who has records that the disability office cannot obtain for what ever reason, an attorney may have better luck. Usually in those instances, the disability office will move forward with your claim. An attorney could always request these for the hearing (if your claim is denied).

    That's the only reason I suggest waiting on obtaining legal representation. Not that I am putting them down - I worked as a legal secretary (over 3 years) after I retired from the disability office as a disability examiner (for 10 years), so - I fully respect the duties of each office.

  • why pay an attorney all of that money for an initial claim when you may not have to? I would want to keep as much of my $$ as possible.

    Wait until after your first denial before hiring an attorney. You do not need one at the application stage and it would not be worth paying an attorney thousands just to get your initial application filed. Well worth the savings to handle that little bit of work yourself.
  • If a person feels up to it, both physically and mentally, they may decide to forgo having an attorney. An attorney will do nothing for you other than to repeat what SSD has already told you to do as you navigate through the process of filling out forms and sending them in. Once you are finally denied, as almost always happens, then SSD will provide you with appeal forms, which you then fill out and send in. This too will normally be denied.

    This is the point that the SSD attorney is waiting for, and that is for you to get scheduled to see a judge to rule on your case. Until this happens, there is precious little they can do for you except recommend the vocabulary and structure used to describe both your ailments as well as your treatments.

    If you feel better with an attorney holdng your hand at this point, it is understandable, but understand that it will cost you a big chunk of your accumulated disability payment should you win. Something like 25% to 35%. That is no small sum, and you can save that by properly providing all paperwork and letters of recommendation from your doctors and bringing those items with you when you face the judge.

    I have gone to court on two different occasions fighting for disability - once for state with an attorney and once for federal without an attorney. I won my claim both times, so it is possible to do so without an attorney. In fact, when fighting for years over federal SSD, my attorney actually abandoned me when I was assigned a judge that very seldom ever awarded disability to the claimant. My attorney felt it wasn't worth risking their time only to lose.

    It so happened that I won and recieved 100% disability and did not have give up a third of three years worth of accumulated payments due me to my attorney. If you have the proper paperwork and a valid claim, all you need to do is express yourself to the judge in a manner that makes him believe what you are saying to be true. No attorney can do that better than I myself can I found out.
  • Don't forget though - there is a chance you will
    receive your disability without having to go through the appeals office, you could be approved the first time. I was and others have been. You sound so discouraged, I know it's very overwhelming. You may be able to get through the first try without an attorney - I didn't use an attorney - my neighbor helped me with the paperwork. I was feeling terrible and taking medicine, I was confused and it was so hard to fill paperwork out. Hang in there and maybe you will be someone who does not have an extremely difficult time getting approved. Good luck, I will be thinking good thoughts for you. I know you have to be realistic but you may have a good outcome.
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