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Focus Your Testimony on Pertinent Facts in Your Social Security Disability Review Process

Posted on June 1, 2015

Social Security Disability Review ProcessSocial Security Disability Review Process

After applying for Social Security disability, many people question what the Social Security disability review time frame may be. The fact is that it could take from a month to two years for someone to be approved for disability through Social Security, if they are approved at all. There are many reasons why it can take so long for approval.

Impairment Seriousness

The seriousness of the impairment can have an impact on how long it takes for the Social Security disability review process. Some impairments are so severe, Social Security will approve them immediately, although it is rare for that to happen. Some of the conditions that may warrant immediate approval include:

  • ALS diagnosis
  • Advanced cancer
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Blindness
  • AIDs
  • Double amputations

Delays in Doctor Reports

In some cases, approval may be delayed because reports needed by Social Security from the doctor’s office do not arrive in a timely manner. Normally, an examiner will send out requests for information the same day they receive them, but the time they receive those records can vary tremendously. This is becoming less of a problem, however, as the Social Security Administration works with larger insurers to transfer records electronically.

Claimant Arguments

There are times when a person claiming disability will feel the need to argue their case with Social Security, but they often use faulty logic when doing so. A claimant may say that no one in their area is offering the kind of work they did in their old job now that they are disabled. However, the Social Security Administration often bases their decision on hypotheticals. In other words, if someone hypothetically offers the claimant a job, can they perform the duties. Instead of focusing on whether or not the claimant will be offered a job, they should inform the department that they are unable to perform the same duties, such as sitting at a desk for eight hours each day.

Providing Too Much Medical Information

When someone files for disability, they often want to explain their diagnosis to the agent investigating the claim along with what they may know about that diagnosis. It is no the job of the claimant to explain medical science to the disability office. There may be times that the investigator will ask what the claimant knows about their condition, but the answer should be short and to the point, without significant detail. When asked if they are able to work, a claimant may be tempted to provide details about what the doctor told them, such as “I have a herniated disk.” This could cause a delay in processing the claim as there are many people who have herniated disks who are able to work. Instead, it is important to describe how severe the symptoms from the herniated disk are and why the claimant is too impaired to work, perform specific activities or be mobile.

Expediting a Claim

There are ways to expedite claims so that they don’t take as long to process. The first thing to do is to make sure all forms are completed fully and that information regarding the doctor who provided the service is included. If possible, submit as many medical records as possible along with the initial claim to reduce the time between delivery of records from the doctor and when Social Security needs them. If the illness or injury are severe, ask about the fast-track programs through Social Security. Claimants with terminal illness or who are eligible for presumptive disability benefits can have their claims expedited by the agency.

Contact Our Disability Lawyers in Ohio

If you or a loved one is seeking disability through Social Security, contact the disability lawyers in Ohio from the John Paul Oreh Law Office to learn more about the Social Security disability review time frame. You can reach them by phone at 216-896-0935 to arrange an initial consultation regarding your Social Security Disability claim.

Social Security Disability Library