Social Security Claims and Contact with the Administration
You are confronted with a life altering illness or injury. You are anxious because you do not know how you are going to be able to support yourself and your family. You know that you cannot work. You know that you have some savings. You also know that your savings will not last more than a year. What do you do. One option is to file your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. You contact a lawyer and the lawyer helps you file, by telling you what information the Administration is looking for, and how to provide that information to the Social Security Administration so that the Administration can obtain the medical information from your treating doctors and hospitals. The lawyer tells you up front that the Social Security Administration is back logged and it may take as long as 18-24 months to have your hearing if you are turned down on your application. Often times your anxiety is so great about the process you either do not hear this or forget it. The lawyer tells you that there is little the lawyer can do to make the administration find that you are disabled more quickly, short of providing the proper information, sometimes provide the records, and in some instances filing a requests for determination on the record. The reason for this is that the applications are reviewed in the order they are submitted, and most, if not all the people submitting applications are facing financial problems.
The Social Security Administration contracts with the Indiana Disability Determination Service (DDS) to help them process the claims. While processing the claims, the DDS will send out for your medical records, set up appointments for you to see one of their doctors, and call you asking for additional information. This is a normal part of the process and is not a cause for alarm. You might say, well why aren’t the DDS talking to my lawyer? The reason is that talking directly with you, for simple information makes the process go more quickly. Certainly you should discuss what was said between you and the DDS with your lawyer. It is important for your lawyer to know what is going on. However, it is not something to be alarmed about, as it is a normal and necessary part of the review of your application.