The Claims Process – What the Social Security Administration is doing to speed up the process | St. Petersburg Social Security Disability Attorney

Over 2.5 million American apply for Social Security Disability benefits every year. Only one third are approved at the initial application stage which takes on average of three months.

That means 1,675,000 Americans who are denied Social Security disability benefits must begin the lengthy and time-consuming appeal process.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) have begun several new programs to try to reduce the average processing time.

The first is in the Quick Disability Determination (QDD) which is a computer model that allows the Social Security Administration to screen cases with a high potential for approval.

The second is Compassionate Allowances which are a way of identifying medical conditions that qualify under Hurdle 3, the Listing of Impairments. If you can establish that your disabling condition meets a listing, the Social Security Administration will grant your benefits at Hurdle 3. You can learn more about compassionate allowances and whether you’re disabling condition meets a listing at allowances.

The last is the new National Hearing Center (NHC) which allows the agency to use video teleconferencing for hearings in those areas that have the longest back log. The Social Security Administration also hired 175 new Administrative Law Judges.

We hope the additional staff and fast tracking will reduce the waiting time and improve the disability process. For more help you can contact us here.

What’s New at the Social Security Administration (SSA) – National Hearing Office | Lakeland Social Security Disability Attorney

One of the proposals to reduce the Social Security Disability Benefit backlog was the formation of a National Hearing Center (NHC) to hear cases by videoconferencing from the Offices with the longest waiting times. That is now a reality and the national hearing office was opened in Falls Church, Virginia in December 2007.

7 Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) were assigned to hear cases from the Atlanta, Cleveland, and Detroit areas by video. You appear in an office with a video camera and watch the ALJ on the screen as you answer the ALJ’s questions.

While we applaud this effort and  admit that video teleconferencing is a great tool, our experience has not been favorable. In those cases where the honesty or credibility of the applicant is in dispute, video teleconferencing just does not cut it. In those cases, a good old fashioned hearing in front of the ALJ is crucial. A face to face conversation with the ALJ can make the difference between winning or losing your Social Security Disability Claim. If you have any questions contact us here.

If you would like more information about your rights regarding Social Security Disability Benefits, you can order our FREE book,"Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits" by submitting the form in the sidebar. We will send it out immediately along with other important information.

For more information about Social Security Disability Benefits, visit our law firm web site at If you would like to speak with one of our Social Security Disability Benefits attorneys about your case, feel free to call us anytime at (727) 897-9117 or simply submit our contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

Getting a Lawyer – Preparing for a Social Security Hearing | Indian Rocks Beach Social Security Disability Lawyer

The very first thing that should be done is to look at your Social Security file to see what is in your file. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will send your lawyer a CD with a copy of your file.

Some lawyers will do a cursory review of the file but we believe the file should be reviewed cover to cover! Why? We want to learn what happened at the initial and reconsideration level, what evidence was in your file, and the reason for the denial.

We then formulate a strategy for the file handling. Since SSA’s file development stops at the Request for Reconsideration, the medical in your file is out of date by the time a hearing is scheduled. Remember it can take 18 to 24 months to get a hearing and a lot can happen medically in your case.

We obtain a complete copy of your medical records to show when your disability started, how it progressed and how your disability continues to impact your employability. It is important that you keep your lawyer updated on your medical treatment.

We also contact your treating physician to have them complete the appropriate residual functional capacity form. (RFC)

We also prepare a brief summarizing your case and pointing out what evidence supports each of the 5 hurdles. We make sure the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has all your medical records and a strong argument for awarding you the social security disability benefits you deserve.

Before your hire a lawyer, make sure you understand what will be done to prepare your case for your Social Security hearing. Without a doubt it would be in your best interest to hire an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer such as Nancy Cavey or Sharon Barrett to review your file and help you with your case.

Getting a Lawyer In Your Social Security Disability Case – Communicating with Social Security | St. Pete Beach Social Security Disability Attorney

Can you still talk with the Social Security office after you hire a lawyer? What should you do with correspondence you get from Social Security after you hire a lawyer?

When you hire a lawyer to represent you in your Social Security disability claim, the lawyer will send a notice to the Social Security office telling them to make sure all contact with you is through your lawyer.

The purpose of the letter to make sure that your lawyer knows what is going on, whether SSA has set up an examination you must attend, whether additional material is needed or whether your claim has been granted or denied.

If you are contacted by SSA by phone contact your lawyer, so your lawyer can respond to SSA immediately.

Don’t assume that SSA sends your lawyer a copy of letters they send to you. If you get any correspondence from SSA, immediately call your lawyer so you can discuss what needs to be done.

Communication is key to the success of your claim. Don’t make a mistake by failing to tell your lawyer about any communications from SSA. To hire an experienced lawyer to represent you contact us here at Cavey & Barrett.

Getting a Lawyer In Your Social Security Disability Case – What Will You Charged? | Hudson Social Security Disability Lawyer

The attorney’s fee in a Social Security case is paid from your back benefits. The fee is 25% of your back pay (called retroactive benefits) or $5300.00 The fee is capped at maximum of $5300.00.

If your attorney has paid to get copies of your medical records, paid your doctor to fill out a residual functional capacity form (RFC) or paid a vocational evaluator to testify you will, most likely, be responsible for paying back those costs. The repayment of the costs will be in addition to the fee.

If your Social Security Disability benefits are not awarded, you are not responsible for the payment of the fee but will still be responsible for the payment of costs. Since the attorney won’t be paid a fee unless your benefits are awarded, they have reason to make sure your case and the evidence is fully presented to the Social Security Administration. (SSA)

Here at Cavey & Barrett we specialize in Social Security Disability cases and we really do care. Contact us here at or call 727-894-3188 for the help you need with your claim.

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