Category: Social Security Disability

Preparing for a Social Security Disability Hearing

When your Social Security Disability claim gets to the level where you have a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, you may be asked several questions by the judge to verify your application. These questions could include:

Tell me where you worked and the employment dates for the last dozen years. Describe what you did for each employer.

Why do you feel that you can no longer work?

What medications do you take, and what should I know about their side effects and your limitations?

Do you have pain? Where is it? How would you rate it?

Tell me about your ability to stand, walk and sit — how long can you do each of them and do you need any assistance?

I want to know about your lifestyle. In other words, what do you involve yourself with when you’re at home. Are you able to drive? Where do you go?

How has having a disability changed your life?

These questions are nothing to be alarmed about so you should not be concerned or nervous. The judge is just verifying your information and getting insight from you, a real person, about your claim.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner

Cost Of Living & Social Security

Social Security Disability

With the Congressional Budget Office projecting no cost of living increase for social security benefits in 2010 and 2011, many people who receive this income will be in a tough spot. For some folks, the SSD benefits cover the absolute necessities of living. They depend on their check and make it only from month to month. Without a cost-of-living increase to cover outside expenses, many people will be forced to cut back on an already small fixed budget.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner

GAO Follows SSA’s Efforts to End Hearings Delays

Social Security Disability

In a report released this month by the US Government Accountability Office, the Social Security Administration is still plugging along in its efforts to speed up the approval process of SSD claims. Following a plan that started in 2007, the GAO reviewed the May update and noted that the SSA must continue to move forward to reduce the backlog by 2013. Much of the effort centers on Administrative Law Judges, focusing on the hiring of judges, their availability to hear cases and their productivity. According to the GAO, claims are now at 446,000 and the SSA needs to set up performance goals and measures in order to be productive.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner

Disability Claims Processing Data

Social Security Disability

As an update to my recent post, the national average for processing a SSD claim is 494 days. That’s nearly a year and five months. The Greensboro office operates at 541 days (almost 50 days longer), while Charlotte beats the national average slightly at 490 days.

It is important to note that North Carolina has had a slight drop (just under 4%) in the number of claims processed this year compared to 2008, which makes us one of only two states where this happened. Compare NC to Illinois where the number of cases has unbelievably doubled, due possibly to more baby boomers in the market and people who had not planned for the economic dilemma we are in.

According to the latest reports, the Social Security Administration has the goal to end the backlog in hearing level claims in all states by 2013. Additional Administrative Law Judges, funding and efficient staff and productivity could make this happen. As always, we will keep you updated.

This article was written by Chip Permar

Apply for SSD On Your Computer

Social Security Disability

Last winter I wrote about how the Social Security offices are trying to speed up processing and also use less paper by going digital. Using technology for medical record codes is starting to work. The National Health Information Network is a first for a federal government agency, according to a published article, and it’s great that it has started with Social Security. The SSA recommends that you apply for disability benefits on-line. You can click here to get to the website, and you can submit your application electronically.

This article was written by Todd P. Oxner