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How will I know whether my application for Social Security Disability benefits has been approved?

By   /  November 11, 2012  /  1,270 Comments

Learn how you will find out whether your application for Social Security disability benefits has been approved, and what do if you are denied.

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Watch the Video: “How will I know whether my application for Social Security Disability benefits has been approved?”

Disability Approval Letters and Other Indications of Approval

The Social Security Administration will send you a letter telling you whether your application for Social Security disability benefits has been approved or denied; however, an approval letter may not be the first indication that you have been approved. If you gave Social Security your banking information for direct deposit, you are likely to receive a deposit to your bank account before you receive a letter. So, if you think that it’s about time for you to get a decision, check your accounts every few days for a deposit from the U.S. Treasury.

If you get a payment before you receive a letter, you can either wait for the explanatory approval letter, which may come up to two weeks later, or you can call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 for an explanation of the deposit and information about your ongoing benefits or back pay.

Another way you may find out about your approval is by a phone call from the Social Security Administration. If some additional information or documentation, such as proof of your date of birth, is needed to start disability payments, Social Security will call you. Also, if you have eligible dependents, Social Security may call you or your spouse to make application for the children. For additional information about dependents benefits, visit our article “Can My Spouse and Children Get Benefits If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability?”

What If I Get A Denial Letter or a Partial Approval Letter?

If you receive an approval letter that is only partially favorable or you receive a denial letter, review the letter carefully. If you disagree with the reasons for denial or limitation of your claim, you have the right to appeal or have an attorney appeal your application for Social Security Disability benefits. For information about how to appeal and the deadline for appealing, see our article “I Was Denied Social Security Disability. What Can I Do?”

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  • Published: 3 years ago on November 11, 2012
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  • Last Modified: June 26, 2015 @ 11:25 pm
  • Filed Under: After Approval

1,270 Comments

  1. Devin says:

    I applied for SSI on behalf of my daughter who is 2 and a half and diagnosed with PDD a disorder on the Autism Spectrum. I completely everything necessary and went to the SSA office to complete the SSI forms. They told me they’d get the necessary documentation. They took down my income (I am a single mother working 35 hours a week.)

    I finished the application on June 9th in the office. On June 26th I got a check for the $733 maximum amount. It wasn’t until June 27th that I received the letter saying they were still working on a determination of disability. The calculations seem right as I do not make enough to pass any onto my child as her income, so nothing was deducted from the maximum rate. But I just CANNOT figure out why I got the check before I got the approval.

    I called with no help given. All she said was they started the payments as of June because my case was started and opened in May. And that they payments will continue for 6 months and if they had not made a decision by then, they will stop and I may be responsible to pay them back.

    Although I am in need of the money, I am scared to touch it. I cannot afford to pay back money if they have made a mistake, but I don’t know why they would send it before they made a decision? I have never heard of such a thing. The letter I received said nothing about why or paying it back. It only said Id receive $733 on the first of the month for 6 months or until a different decision was reached before that.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Devin,

      Depending on the diagnosis, some Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims are approved for presumptive disability, which allows six months of provisional payments while the claim is being processed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  2. George says:

    I got award letter for SSDI that my benefit start July on my birth date i have no bank account because of the past judgement, all i have is a debit and i have been getting letter about SSI saying that based on the information i supplied to them they are not able to pay me my February and march benefit but what surprises me is that i have never applied for SSI,.

    Now my Questions are :

    1) Can i receive SSDI benefit with the debit card i supplied or with i get through a direct Express card or paper check?

    2) Is it possible for SSA to automatically sign me up for SSI since i applied for SSDI?

    3) I have been asked to provide a Payee which i did but they schedule my payee’s Interview on the date very close to my benefit date according to the award letter i got will my benefit date also been extended?

    4)

    • George says:

      4)i Under stand SSDI is paid in arrears and my benefit is suppose to start in July does it mean i get my benefit in August?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear George,

        Yes, benefits due for July will be paid in August; August’s benefits, in September, and so on.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear George,

      1. If you gave the bank account number and bank routing number to Social Security, your benefits will be directly deposited into the bank account associated with your debit card.

      2. You would have been automatically screened for SSI when you applied for SSDI.

      3. Your benefits probably won’t be authorized until the payee application is made and approved.

      Sincerely
      Kay

  3. susan miller says:

    to kay or who every can give me some advice about this i have been denied twiced already but now i have a court date in front of the t.v thing to talk to the judge every body that i have talked to say that i will get my disability since i have been denied twice and now that iam going in front of the judge do you think my chances are are good have you ever heard of that some one please get in contact with my to shed some light on my question thank you very much

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      Yes, people are approved for disability benefits as the result of presenting their case to a judge. It may be a good idea to hire an attorney to help you present your case. When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  4. Chris says:

    I was told a determination was made last Friday the 19th and would be receiving a letter. No one will tell me my decision over the phone and the website now tells me to call instead of saying a decision has not been made yet. When I go to my earnings record, it now shows potential disability income with a link to apply (this section said cannot be determined prior to today) Would this be a sign of denial or just how their site works?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chris,

      I do not know the details of how the online records are coded. The letter could be a denial letter or it could be a letter asking you to come to the office for an interview because you have been medically approved. Unfortunately, I can not be of more help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shan says:

        Hi I received a letter from social security disability saying that my son need a payee. On the letter it showed my income from may 2015 to June 2016.also they have have much money is in my Bank account will he be approved.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Shan,

          The request for a payee indicates that your son has probably been approved for benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Eloheem says:

      They told me they made a decision on my ssdi claim its been three weeks ang still no letter they just told me its in processing wht does the mean??

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Eloheem,

        I don’t have enough information to offer an opinion. Is your claim an initial claim or was it at the hearings level. Can you tell me what kind of processing was being referenced? Specifically, was it sent to the payment center? Once I know more, I might be able to respond.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  5. MAC says:

    I have a question. My husband applied for SSD in Nov. 2014 and still have not had a decision. We have talked with the claims rep handling his case and he states he has everything he needs. Last month we talked with him and he stated that the medical review has been done, and that he would do every thing he could to “help my husband get help”. If the medical review was negative would they still be working on the case? I check the SSA website frequently and it always says they are awaiting a medical decision. We are confused. Why would it be taking so long for a decision?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear MAC,

      I am a bit unclear about whether you were talking with the claims representative in the local office or the claims examiner in the Disability Determination Services. If you were talking with the claims representative, my guess is that the claim has been medically approved and payment is pending in the payment center. If, however, you mean the claims examiner, I do not understand the significance of his statements.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • johnnyb says:

        Hi kay great website and info to be found.I just had rotor cuff surgey full tear. labrum tear. biecep tendon repair. lower back bulging discs l4 l5 with serve spinal stonosous.mild stenous neck. c4 c5 hearniated discs. pinch nerve neck… nerve damaged in both arms, with serve carpol tunneL. Blood clot in right arm i obtained while in hospital from pic line because of infection in surgey from rotor cuff.Waiting for desicion they said they made one alrady wouldnt say if i got it. They said it was being double checked. any input would be appriciated .. Its been almost 6 months apply jan 2015 disable since sept 2014.. thanks johnnyb

        • johnnyb says:

          sorry kay , i am also 57 years old.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Johnny,

          I’m not sure what input you are looking for. If you want to check on the status of your claim, you might call the Disability Determination Services that Social Security hires to make disability decisions. It is a division of your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. You may be able to get the phone number from the Social Security Administration.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • johnnyb says:

            Thanks kay for ansewering. Sorry for not explaning correctly.Ive been approved for ssi and ssdi.I have appt. with ss to go over fininces, for my ssi. My question to you is when i applied in jan 2015 for my ssi ssdi appliciation,My disabilty date was sept 21 2014 At that time my income was very low to recieve.Now .My ssdi will be to high to meet ssi. Will i be able to recieve backpay for ssi,till i recieve my ssdi?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Johnny,

            Supplemental Security Income (SSI) starts to accrue the month after application unless you applied on the first of the month, in which case benefits would start the month of the application. If you are financially eligible, you will receive SSI from February through the month before you get your first Social Security Disability (SSDI) payment. Your SSDI back pay will be reduced by your SSI back pay for overlapping months.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Brooke says:

      How are you checking the status of the application? Id like to do so..

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Brooke,

        I do not check on the status of anyone’s application. If you applied online, you can establish a My Social Security account and check the status. Alternatively, you can call the local Social Security office, the call center at 1-800-772-1213, or the Disability Determination Services to get a status.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  6. V. L. says:

    Thank you Kay, for answering my question.

  7. V. L. says:

    Hi Kay, I have a question, if im denied for ssd can i be approved for ssi.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear V.L.,

      The definition of disability for adults is the same for Social Security as for SSI, so if you were medically denied for one, you will not be medically eligible for the other.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  8. Mikesnowden68 says:

    I got a letter from Social Security saying WE HAVE DETERMINED THAT YOUR OVERALL MEDICAL CONDITION ALLOWED THE PERFORMANCE OF OTHER WORK PRIOR TO 2/27/2015

    THEREFORE, WE HAVE ESTABLISHED THE ONSET OF DISABILITY AS 2/27/2015.

    Does this mean I have been approved for Social Security?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mike,

      The letter is saying that the Social Security Administration has determined that you became disabled on a date later than you claimed. Whether or not you have been approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) depends on whether you were still insured for benefits on February 27, 2015. The same letter should give you the date you were last insured. If it is February 27, 2015 or later, you have been approved. If the date last insured is stated as being before February 27, 2015, your claim has been or will be denied. (Even if you are not insured for SSDI, you could still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income [SSI] if your income and assets are below the SSI limit.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  9. Gerald Morgan says:

    Good morning Kay, it is me again Gerald. Well this is an update question from what I asked of last month. I got a letter last week from the Mental Examiner, she said a lot of good stuff on my part. Not to sound funny but it does seem like when I was in the office with her, her eyes were fierce and looking through my soul. Hahaha, a buddy of mine told me that his wife tried to get social security and saw the same lady and asked her to leave because she was faking real bad.

    In my case, I was straight up honest, when I go in deep thought and details about my deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan, but I got a letter in the mail and that she does agree that I need to see a psychiatrist and medicine, sadly for my Depression of Anxiety I do not take medication. But this is the last part of the letter that she sent me, it says “Should the decision to grant him an award be rendered.” In your opinion Kay, does this mean Social Security will listen to her and what she says even though they sent me to her? Also, she has all my records and was reading them in front of me.

    I just want to know your opinion of what you think. So far a few people told me, her to say this for me is good news. Thanks Kay, any answer is much appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gerald,

      The consulting physician does an evaluation and submits a report; however, the consulting physician does not make the decision of whether you are disabled according to Social Security law. The line that you quoted makes that clear; she does not know whether or not you will be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  10. Alice S says:

    Dear Kay,

    I applied for SSDI on January 27,2015..went to both of the dr’s appt they sent me on. Checked on my status on line and a letter is there stating that I will receive my first regular payment on 15July2015 for 733.00 per month. I was a little excited.. now I went to check on my personal page and everything matched my personal information except for my address. The address was not mine and I have never lived there..so I changed it in the system…My biggest question I have is will I receive retro payments from January or from when I stopped working in September 2014? I applied due to severe back pain..I had fallen down 18 steps in 2002..my back pain has gotten so bad that I am now walking with a cane and using a wheelchair for longer outings. Any information you can give me would be great..
    Thanks..

    Alice

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alice,

      The $733 payment is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. Your back SSI benefits began to accrue in February 2015. If you are also approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), when the SSDI starts, your SSI payments will either be reduced or stopped. If Social Security found that your disability began in September 2014, your SSDI benefits begin to accrue in March 2015. The back pay for the SSDI will be reduced by SSI back pay paid for the overlapping months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Alice S says:

        I was recently informed from the SSA that I do not qualify for back payments due to the fact that they decided I became disabled on 21Dec2014 and not when I believe I did back in 2013. How and why could they have possibly come to this conclusion? The last time I was employed was August2013..I am confused..I read that if I challenge their decision that I could lose my benefit all together..I am just lost at this stage.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Alice,

          Apparently, your medical records did not show that you were disabled before some medical record dated December 21, 2014. I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file and discuss the viability of an appeal with a Social Security attorney. (If you decide to appeal, be sure not to miss the sixty-day appeals period, which begins with the date of determination letter.) You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Alice S says:

            Hi Kay,
            Have another question for you..just recently I looked at my ssdi account online and it says that I will receive 0.00 on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. I am confused. I called SSA and they don’t know what I am talking about. I have yet to receive my first payment so I am at a loss.

            Any advice?

            Alice

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Alice,

            The first payment is not always issued on the third of the month. It could be issued any time during the month; and the amount and the date will show up online when the payment has been authorized. Your ongoing benefits are paid in a certain week of the month, selected based on your birth date. For example, if you were born the last week of the month, the ongoing benefit will be paid the last Wednesday of each month.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  11. Misael Garcia says:

    O quizas le depositan el retroactivo de mi hijas automaticamente en mi cuenta??

  12. Misael Garcia says:

    Hola y perdona que escriba en espanish.
    Recientemente me llego mi retroactivo de 35 meses del Seguro Social por Incapacidad.

    Que pasos siguen para que mis 3 hijas tambien reciban retroactivo?
    El Seguro Social envia una carta??
    Debo ir a mi oficina local pero con que evidencia??

    Kay agradecere su gran ayuda!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Querido Misael,

      Sugiero que vaya a su oficina local de Seguridad Social para estar seguro que las aplicaciones by sus hijos esten en proceso. Cuando vaya, presente los certificados be nacimiento y los numeros be Seguro Social de sus ninos.

      Su segura servidora,
      Kay

  13. jamie says:

    I posted a question about 2 or 3 weeks ago and I can’t remember exactly which thread it was posted on, and I don’t believe I ever got a response…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jamie,

      Your post and my reply can be found under that “Can mental illnesses be a basis for Social Security Disability benefits?” under the Claim Process tab at the top of each page of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Deb says:

        Good Morning Kay,
        Just an update on my SSDI claim. You were absolutely right, claim was fast tracked. I still have not received a letter because one was never created. Went into local office and was advised the system did show a letter was sent out on 4/7/15 but they could not locate the letter. After speaking with specialist she advised fully favorable decision but still being worked on due to workers comp off set and that I would eventually receive a call or letter. Also was told that SS policy is not to advise approval or denial over phone for 14 days. I feel guilty for doubting the customer service reps. This could take awhile since it hasn’t made it to the payment center as well as the few months it can take there but I am relieved and very grateful. Thank you so much Kay.
        Deb

  14. J.P. says:

    Questions I need to ask.. Ok my kids dad which had gotten a fully favorable letter in September 27,2014 which he won his appeal for ssd I and it is going on May 2015 and he hasn’t gotten one dime and now all of a certain they is now sending him to these doctors checking him out again.. Plus they sending him to a psycharistic which he is disable inside his body not his head.. Why is they doing this after a appeals judge has order him and render a fully favorable favor and award him his ssdi?? Do you or anybody know anything about this?? His doctor told him if they don’t do something quick he was going to write in on them.. Please help to shine some light because he been disable too long and since we are not together I have to take up the slack for taking care of his kids by myself.. It’s not fair I’m tired and I’m sick now myself I got to have open heart surgery soon thank you..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear J.P.,

      There is some possibility that your children’s father’s claim may have been selected randomly for a quality assurance review and the review found that the judge’s favorable decision was not fully supported by the information in file. Another possibility is that he was approved with a continuing disability review date that came up before payment was started. I suggest that he contact Social Security and get an explanation for why he is being sent to the examinations. Whatever the reason, he should be sure to attend all the requested exams.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  15. claudia says:

    Hi. I had done went in to do my application & I had receive a letter but it did not say if I was approved or deny for social security benefits.it just vsaid I had another appointment to go in for more information so how do I know if I’m being in the process of being approved or if they are gonna deny my application

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Claudia,

      If the appointment is for a medical examination, no decision has been made on your claim and you need to attend the appointment so a decision can be made. If the appointment is at your local Social Security office, your claim may have been approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  16. Tommy Land says:

    Great info here.
    Thanks

  17. Deb says:

    Dear Kay, thank you so much for what you do. I have a question for you after reading all your comments, I don’t see any case like mine.i will be 61 in August, am an LPN and have been off work this time for 16 months. It’s an old workers comp case from 2008 where I had a double spine fusion. I was off 18 months that time and attorney was able to do a closed period. I returned to work and have re injured my back several times and Ortho do wants to do another fusion workers comp is fighting however still paying me while I’m off. Files for SSD /16/2015 and spoke to someone who advised I may need to see their doc for a second opinion, I agreed to what ever they needed. Last week I received a call from a guy asking about prior work and at the end of call he advised that it looked like a fully favorable decision, I thanked him and asked what the statistics of a 61 year old person with two fusions returning being able to return to nursing, said he did not know. Right as we were hanging up he asked if I had any psychological problems not related to back issues I advised no only normal depression from physical injury.i called to check status on 4/10/15 and was advised letter was sent out same day that I spoke to him on 7th. Would not give any info of course, they sure move fast sometimes. I applied at local office in Palm Springs so I am not able to access account other than regular earnings and of course it says what my earnings are and no benefits currently being paid. Wonder what happened? Will be contacting firm I used for closed period, they are aware of my current filing and agreed I would contact them if denied, should of let them do it in the first place. They really understand the offset and are very customer service oriented. Thank you for listening and if you have any thoughts I’d love to hear them

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Deb,

      It is unusual that an examiner will tell you the decision but apparently you have been told that your claim has been approved. You will soon have a decision letter, and in the meantime there’s no reason to question the information. (If you have been an LPN for a long time, given your age and back condition as you describe it, it seems reasonable that you might have been approved.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Deb says:

        Hi Kay,
        His words were he was sending it back for final review but looks like fully favorable . But why the question of mental status, he stated if I said I had a problem unrelated to injury they would have to schedule exam. They never did schedule an exam when they brought it up the last time. He was calling from San Diego office and when he said he was sending it back I assumed he meant Palm Springs. To think a letter went out same day that I talked to him seem weird. They must of had their mind made up prior to phone call. Maybe they figure since workers comp is paying there is no need to get involved with the whole offset issue. Have you ever heard of a situation where a decision and a letter is mailed same day you speak to a rep regarding past employment?

        • Deb says:

          Also Kay, yes I have been a LPN for 12 years. Thank you and have a good evening.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Deb,

          It sounds as if the San Diego Disability Determination (DDS) office may have been caught up or your claim may have been quite clear with characteristics that qualified it for fast track. The DDS does not handle the workers compensation (WC) offset. If your claim has been medically approved, it will be sent to the central payment center for calculation of benefits, where the offsets will be applied. This can take two or three months. To avoid delay and/or overpayment, be sure that you have submitted to your local office all your WC paperwork that shows the status of the claim and all amounts paid to you. If WC changes occur, submit the updated change letters promptly.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Deb says:

            Thank you so much Kay, you help a lot of people. I am so grateful that I am being paid while I am off, I can’t even imagine dealing with all the worry and money too. My hope is to return to nursing for at least 10 more years, pediatric home care. Thanks again for all you do to help us understand the process.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Deb.

  18. Gerald Morgan says:

    Hello Kay, my name is Gerald. When I was in the Army, I was wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and also broke my ankle when we were doing Combatives which is an Army style of fighting, when I was getting out, I was waiting to get a letter from the VA for approval. At that time I came here to Florida to the Social Security office and I did not have any records, treatments, or disability, I went there in July and was denied in November. But December I got an approval letter from the VA so I was getting a disability rating of 80%. So now January of this year 2015, I went to the Social Security office, this time they asked for my DD214, but they did not the first time, I gave them a copy of my disability papers also. They gotten the medical records which are stacked like a bible. This time they did a phone interview with me over the phone, so I went to their appointments and saw the same doctors, the lady asked me if I were approved for social security, I said no, but I get VA instead, but she was writing down a lot of stuff as we were speaking, my mom says when they write a lot, it is good. I went to the physician and he told me stuff I did not know, he said I have a stiff neck, stiff back, and my knee looks swollen. He was writing down and pretty much said, I am not incapable of doing things I did when I was young. He also said I deserve a placard since I can only walk so far. I am 30 years old, I gained weight since I been out of the Army and he also noticed my blood pressure has risen. What I want to know is, does this mean this time I will get it? This time, they got my medical records and my VA rating disability which is 80%. My appointments were 4/5/2015 and 4/6/2015. Does having a disability from one organization helps with the other? Worst case scenario if I am denied, I already talked to an attorney who would help me. Also does what the doctor say at the appointment have weight also?

    • Gerald Morgan says:

      I forgot to add that from the VA my disabilities are Depression of Anxiety 50%, tension headaches 30%, back 20%, left knee 10%, 10% allergies. But all together it is combined at 80%

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gerald,

      Receiving disability benefits from one organization does not guarantee benefits from another because each disability program has its own definition of disability. To be eligible for Social Security you must be unable to perform substantial gainful activity (usually defined as $1,090 gross wages per month) in any occupation you have done in the past and in any other occupation that you could perform if you did not have your medical limitations. The consulting physician’s report will be considered along with all the other information submitted for your claim. I cannot say whether you will be approved for Social Security Disability; however, you have a better chance of approval this time because you have submitted your medical records.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  19. Laurie says:

    Hello, my question is: I applied for benefits in May 2013. Have gone to all appointments and meetings, appeal hearings, etc. The judge sent me to a doctor’s appointment, which I went to on Feb 23, 2015. This last Saturday I received a letter from my local office with an appointment date but no reason as to why. When I called to find out if I had been approved or denied all the lady (who was very nice and helpful) could tell me was that there had been no updates to my case. What are some reasons for more appointments at the SS office?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Laurie,

      I am a bit puzzled. Usually a request for an appointment means that your claim has been medically approved and some non-medical information needs to be updated; however, typically, if this were the case, you would have already eceived a favorable decision letter from the judge. (Regarding the “no update” statement, if you called the 800 number, the person you spoke would have had access only to the computer record, which might not have been updated.) In any event, be sure to attend the appointment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Laurie says:

        Thank you for your reply. I contacted my local office and they said that my case had been closed and that it was deemed fully favorable and the appointment was for an end-line interview to update income information.

  20. Henry says:

    Hi Ms. Derochie,

    I initially applied for ssdi in Nov. 2011. I was denied then, but was approved at my ADJ hearing. I’ve been patient through all this until now.
    In 2013, I went to the local SSA office and hand delivered a new direct deposit form. The agent said he had given it to the person who handles it and was going to change it.
    Fast forward to March 25 2015, I called to make sure that the right bank account was filed. I was told that my back payment was sent to the wrong bank that same day, March 25. I was also told that my new bank was entered in 2013, but no one ever activated it as my new direct deposit. I was upset but was told that my payment would be direct deposited to the right bank the same day they received it back.
    On March 27 I called again to make sure one more time that they had the right bank on file activated. sheesh, I was told that my payment was never sent, that it said in the system that I wasn’t to receive my back payment until April 4!. OK, So what could I do but wait. BUT, I decided to check “my social security” online account and it had all my info there, how much and when my regular payments would be paid AND that a payment in the amount of my back pay was made to me on March 25!! So here I sit shaking my head and wondering what’s next.
    I guess there is no big question, except, are they really that confused at the SSA offices? Do you hear a lot of this?
    Sorry, guess mostly I wanted to vent to someone. Hope I ddn’t waste any of your time. I can’t believe how much you do to help all of us. If only there were clones of you in the SSA offices!
    Thanks…..Henry

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Henry,

      It does seem that not all Social Security employees are equally well-versed in their jobs as at times there does seem to be inconsistency in information given. That said, maybe the situation changed after the first call. Possibly after your call on March 25, the representative found out a way to block the payment’s transfer to the bank before it was completed and re-issuance of the benefit to the new bank is taking a few days of overnight computer runs. However, that is just a hopeful supposition. (A side note: usually monthly benefits start before back pay is released.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  21. rebecca says:

    I was wondering if the SS reps have access to the notice sent out my the judge approval/denial.. they said a notification was sent out this week.. One rep told me I was denied another rep told me they could not see what was on the notice that was sent for 7-10 days. the 1st rep spent all of 2 seconds the other rep took 20 min looking thru my account

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rebecca,

      If your computer record is correctly updated, when the decision is finalized, the representative can see the decision but is not supposed give it out verbally. You should be receiving the decision letter any time now unless you moved. You might want to call and find out if they have the correct address on file at the hearing office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  22. Dee says:

    My husband just filed for disability and two packets of forms came one for him and one in my name. I take care of him since he’s been disabled from last March after quad. Bypass surgery. He’s gone downhill since with cognitive impairment and Parkinson’s Disease and depression. My question is I have to fill out my packet even though I haven’t filed for disability and are too young for retirement? I haven’t worked in years…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      Please clarify a couple things for me so that I can try to respond.

      1. Are you disabled?
      2. Are the packets identical (all the forms the same)?
      3. Is only your name on the one packet or are both your names on the one that has your name on it?

      Thank you,
      Kay

  23. Patrice says:

    Hello Kay,

    How Do I find out what my benefits were in 2007?

    Thank you so much for all your knowledge and assistance.
    Patrice

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Patrice,

      If you know the amount of your current benefit, you can back out all the cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to arrive at your monthly benefit amount in 2007. Or, you can wait for the award letter, which will tell you the benefit amount each year 2007 to present. The COLA increases have been as follows:

      2008 — 2.3%
      2009 — 5.8%
      2010 — 0.0%
      2011 — 0.0%
      2012 — 3.6%
      2013 — 1.7%
      2014 — 1.5%
      2015 — 1.7%

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  24. Arawn says:

    HI I was wondering when I will get my ssi benefits if I was approved on feb 4th 2015 still haven’t gotten a approval letter yet can you tell me whats going on\/

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Arawn,

      If you were approved by a judge and have the approval letter, call your Social Security office and ask for an appointment to update your financial information so that your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim can be paid. If you also applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your payment will come from a central payment center and can take up to three months after the SSI claim has been paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  25. Denise says:

    Hello, I applied for SSD in September of 2014 and was sent to a Medical Examiner in January 2015. Whenever I checked the status of my claim online, it said that a “decision has not been made”. This was up until Feb. 10th. Also when I went to the social security.org website, there was no estimated value and the link said that one cannot be provided since I applied for disability. Today (Feb. 12, 2015) when I checked the status, I got a message that my “request could not be completed at this time”. So I went to the social security.org website and now there is an amount displayed for my estimated benefits. I called and they said my claim has been closed and sent back to my local office who will send my a decision letter. Since there is an amount displayed for disability benefits now, is it safe to assume that I was “denied” since the sentence still reads “You are not receiving benefits…”? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Denise,

      Yes, I would say that your claim has been denied. If you disagree with the denial after reading the denial letter, you can appeal. It will be a good idea to request a copy of your claim file for the appeal and to obtain a Social Security attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Denise says:

        Thank you Kay for the reply.

        I have another question. I called Social Security today to find out if a decision letter had been mailed. However, the rep told me that a letter had not been mailed because a decision was just reached on the 15th. So now I’m confused. If I was told that my case was closed on the 9th then why was a decision just made on the 15th? Are decisions not made on the same date as the claim was closed? Is this standard to be told of two different dates? If so, why? I thought the DDS makes the final decision on claims and then sends it back to the local office to mail out the decision letter. I guess I’m just trying understand how a case can be closed without a decision. Why did it take an additional six days to make a decision? Thanks.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Denise,

          In some cases a decision by DDS is reviewed by a quality assurance unit, which could account for the delay in a final decision. If you have not gotten a denial letter by now, I suggest that you contact Social Security to see whether your claim has gone to the payment center as an approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  26. Abby says:

    My husband had his hearing on January 9 2015 we haven’t receive a letter or anything we called to check on the status they said that they waiting for a writer what does that mean??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Abby,

      This response is to both your posts. After the judge makes the decision, a letter has to be written. This is done in the letter-writing department and can take from a week to a couple months depending on the hearing office’s current workload. Social Security benefits start with a monthly benefit which can take a month or more after your husband receives the approval letter. It can take up to three months after that for the back pay to be released. If he applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SSI benefits will begin sooner, usually within a month or two, followed by SSI back pay, paid in installments of #2,199 six months apart. If he applied for SSI, he can call Social Security for an appointment for an interview to update the financial portion of his claim, which is required before SSI payment is issued.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  27. Brandy says:

    Hello I applied for ssi for my daughter last year in Oct. Today I called to check her claim status and was told a letter was being sent out to me to come into the SS office to speak with Mr. Haywood the guy that processed her application. I was not told that she was approved nor denied. What is this appointment for and was she approved or denied?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brandy,

      Your daughter has probably been approved medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the appointment is to update your finances since application so that payment can be calculated.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  28. Sandi says:

    I had my son disability hearing on January 8th. We did not get a bench decision and are having to wait for one from the judge through the mail. On February 4th I received a letter approving my son and daughter for Medicaid starting in 2/1/14. I’ve never applied for Medicaid for them. I live in Louisiana and applied for my sons disability on 11/8/13. Does the Medicaid mean that we have been approved for his disability?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandi,

      The fact that both your son and daughter were approved for Medicaid is an indication that the approval is unrelated to your son’s disability application. Did you apply for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? If so, it is possible Medicaid is the insurance the children have received as a result of your application. Another possibility is that the children have received medical insurance because you applied for cash assistance for your family from your state or county and approval includes Medicaid. If none of these apply, contact the office that sent the Medicaid approval for clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  29. michelle says:

    I have a question..if someone receives disability and gets back pay do they have to claim that as income and do you get penalizes??

    Michelle

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      I believe that you are asking a tax question. The general rule is that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not taxable because they are a public assistance payment. Social Security benefits are partially taxable if a person filing individually has an adjusted gross income of more than $25,000. Filing jointly, the threshold is $32,000. For more specific information contact the IRS or a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  30. Kevin says:

    Hi Kay,

    I completed my application around November 3, 2014. I hired a disability attorney shortly after. I received a call on December 9, 2014 from DDS. It took a little over a month for SS to send my paper work to DDS. She called to let me know she was sending me a work history and daily living report to fill out. I called her back to make sure she had received the paper work and she replied, “Yes, you have a serious issue.”. I let her know I was going to a neurologist on January 5, 2015.

    After the visit with the neurologist I called to let her know I had gone so she could order my paper work. I originally went for essential tremors. On top of my tremors, which I already knew I had, I was diagnosed with migraines and carpel tunnel. Severe in my right hand and not as bad in my left.

    She now has all of my paper work in from both of my doctors. My reason for going on to the neurologist was, because my family practitioner said he has done all he can for my tremors and said it is time to see a neurologist.

    It has been two weeks since she has had all of my paper work at DDS. I called her today to ask was there anything she needed me to help her do or get. She said no, to wait and hear from them. Does it normally take this long to make a discission? Would the carpel tunnel and migraines help my case at all? All I have ever done is office type work and the essential tremors have gotten so bad I can no longer type and perform basic office work. Would her statement ” You have a severe issue ” be any insight in her feelings about my case? Or was that way to early to tell? The SS website still says they are working on the medical portion of my claim.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kevin,

      It can take from two to five months to get a decision. Presumably, the examiner’s remark means she believes you have a significant limitation; however, the medical records have to support your statements. All of your conditions will be considered in determining whether you are disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  31. eddie says:

    if my case was closed on January 16th can I find out the decision by calling social security or do I have to wait on my decision letter come in

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Eddie,

      The Social Security Administration typically does not give out decision verbally. You can call to find out whether the letter has been sent and, if you haven’t received the letter by about the 10th of February, it would be a good idea to do so to be sure it is not lost in the mail.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  32. jay says:

    Dear Kay,

    My husband us a 100% disabled veteran through va. He has been denied ssdi twice and appealed. The third time with a lawyer. He went to a hearing on Dec 2, 2014. Last week we received a letter from tge judge saying thst our lawyer left it open for more mefical records and thethavent received them. Itasked wheyher to wait f poo r thoses records or decide the case. I was wondering if this sounded like it would be a denial…

    Jay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jay,

      The judge had a reason for requesting the records in the first place, so I think requesting a decision without them could risk a denial. I suggest that you find out from the lawyer whether the records have been requested and if necessary follow up with the medical provider and get them yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  33. Amanda Leon says:

    I have been trying to receive ssi for a genetic physical disability since 2009. The decision was unfavorable but then they sent me a letter saying my case was selected to be reviewed by another judge. Now I’m waiting for a new hearing date. The other day I received a letter that says they do not want me to be examined by their doctor. What does that mean? Is that a good sign or what?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amanda,

      The cancellation of the examination is an indication that the judge thinks he or she has enough information to make a correct decision without it. Hopefully, this means an approval for you; but at this point, we can’t be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  34. Marie says:

    Hello Kay I spoke with DDS again today they say there is backlog so my claim was sent to processing regional office in Philadelphia says its normal doesn’t matter that I live in Va. Do u have any idea what it could if deny wouldn’t it have been back to local office? I’m very confused and nervous

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      I am glad that you got an explanation. If your claim is denied, you will have the right to appeal through your local office. If you are approved, it will also be handled through your local office. Watch for any mail from the Philadelphia office in case they need anything more from you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  35. Marie says:

    Hello Kay so do have any idea why my reconsideration would be sent to Philadelphia if I live in VA?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Sorry, Marie.

      I am still waiting for my resource to get back to me on this because I haven’t encountered your situation before. I’ll let you know as son as I know.

      Kay

  36. Marie says:

    Kay okay thanks! I called DDS in VA and was told my reconsideration claim was sent to S.O.B in Philadelphia unsure what they mean plus I’m in VA

  37. Marie says:

    Hello I’m just wondering why u didn’t reply to my question but replied to dates after mine?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      I am doing some research for your question and will respond as soon as I have an answer for you.

      Thanks for your patience,
      Kay

  38. Phil says:

    Hi Kay
    You were correct, I spoke to SSI today and I was approved. The lady told me what my back pay will be and that I’d be getting $488/month regardless of actual costs. The 1/3 that they take out covers all household expenses though (minus cable/phone), not just my third. Half of my back pay will be going towards past rent so it wont be but a couple months before I start getting the full amount.

    She also said I’d get the first check January 1st but since that’s a holiday, I’d get it December 30th or 6 days from now. She may be right but I wont be holding my breath for that to be true.

    I’m still amazed (and concerned, healthwise) that I was approved so quickly. Nothing I’ve read and no one I’ve talked to indicated that I’d be approved so quickly and without legal counsel. I have to conclude that I was just very lucky (if being disabled can be considered lucky) and all the right pegs fell into all the right holes at precisely the right time. How often does that happen in this life?

    Thank you so much for your help and the help you provide others. Finding good information is so hard, especially if we don’t quite know the correct questions to ask. This is a new experience for many of us and having someone like you to answer our questions is indeed a great blessing.
    Hoping you have a nice relaxing holiday and a great new year!

    Phil

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Phil,

      You are most welcome for the the help. Surprisingly many people are approved smoothly, but we don’t hear about those claims because those people have no reason to reach out and post their experience. So, thank you for posting yours.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  39. Phil says:

    Hi Kay,
    I applied for SSDI/SSI back in August 2014 (4 months ago), completed all paperwork and went to all the doctor appts they set up. I was turned down for SSDI which I expected since I’ve been unable to work and living off of assets the last 13 years. I wasn’t aware of the 5 year window (for SSDI) back then.
    Anyway, yesterday I got a letter from SSI. It said “Good News Early Alert Letter”. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Under that bold-type headline it goes on to say “We have good news for you about your SSI claim: The agency making the medical decision on your SSI case has told us that your case might be allowed soon.” I know you can’t tell me any more than this letter does regarding my case but is it normal for them to get someone’s hopes up with such wording? The words aren’t actually saying anything either way but they certainly seem to be implying that I’ve been approved, at least from a medical standpoint. Financially qualifying wont be a problem.

    Another question I have is concerning back pay (September to current) and how much will be taken out regarding household expenses. I live with my sister and her husband and the 3 of us live in a paid-off house with our own well and septic system and monthly bills, excluding phone/cable, are about $230 which includes gas, electric and property taxes. I provide my own food through SNAP since August. $230 is the average cost per month over the past 12 months. If we just round that up to $300 to simplify the math, does that mean that SSI will take out $100 for every month of back and current pay since I’m 1/3 of the household or will they take out more than that? If I start receiving payments in February they will take out for February but how many more months will they take that out of? In other words, if my first check comes in February, how long until the full $721 amount comes?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Phil,

      I have not heard of letters with that wording. Did the letter ask you to do something such as attend an appointment for a financial update? If so, you claim may have been medically approved. Your Supplemental Security Income benefits will be reduced by your one-third share of costs. If you start paying your share when you start to get benefits, your SSI will go up to the maximum amount ($733 in 2015) two months after you start paying your share.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  40. Mordecia says:

    Hi Everyone & Happy Holidays,
    I became disabled & could no longer work during Sept 2013.
    Filed for Disability in June 2014 via a recommended Disability Attorney.
    Found out that the case analyst made a decision & it went to Quality Review.
    Got a call from the case analyst some 3 weeks later leaving a message on my voicemail for clarification as to the type of work I did in 1999 thru 2001.
    My attorney called the case analyst back with the info she requested & it was on that call we found out she did approve me but Quality Review wanted to clarify the type of work I did for those 3 years.
    Incidentally, the work I did those 3 years was consistent with the work I have done all along & am unable to do due to my disability.My seems confident that the info we replied with should confirm the initial approval.
    OK, that’s where I’m at & here’s my questions;

    1) Now that their question has been answered, does the case analyst have to send my approved decision back to Quality Review or now that the question has been satisfied does the original decision of approval simply get’s processed?

    2) In most cases, are the benefits retroactive from the last day I worked & could not continue due to my disability? If so, I imagine that
    the initial check will be substantial less of course my attorney fee.

    Thanking you all in advance, & Happy Holidays to all!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mordecia,

      I do not know for sure, but I would expect the the claim would have to go back to the quality assurance unit.

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits begin to accrue the later of the sixth full calendar month of disability or twelve months before the month of application. Therefore, your benefits would begin to accrue March 2014 if you are found to have become disabled in September 2013. Supplemental Security Income benefits begin the month after application except if you applied on the first of the month in which case benefits would begin with the month of application. Typically, a current monthly payment is made first and then the back pay is released.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  41. Alice says:

    Been denied 2 times. Now waiting for court date. They say could be up to 16 months.. I have a lawyer who has next to nothing. I wroke Congressman Walter Jones. He sent me a release form for all my records and contacted disability in Raleigh, NC Can this hurt or help me.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alice,

      Different people have different opinions about whether involving a congressman has a negative effect on the outcome of a claim. I would say that it depends on the judge, so there is no telling.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  42. david says:

    I applied for ssd and I have Chrons Diesase as well as colitis, neuropathy and I an diabetic. I am overweight as well. Are those conditions enough to qualify me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      Whether or not your medical conditions are enough to constitute disability depends on how severe they are and whether they limit you from working. If you have not yet filed a claim, you might discuss your ability to work with your doctor.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  43. Ebony says:

    Hi Kay i have a question i applied for social security for my son in 2011 because the social worker there advised me to apply because he was premature he was 3 months early weighing 2 pounds anyways they denied it so i reapplied in 2012 and denied me again then i just reapplied September 2014 because he has developmental delays in school and is behind for his age i provided them with documentation from ese provider on what they evaluation was and they referred me to their speech and hearing doctor in october i called and they said its still pending how long does it take to hear from them and what are my chances of getting approved this time?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ebony,

      It is possible that your child could be approved; now that he is older his limitations may be more identifiable. After all the records are received and the consultative examinations reports are received by the claims examiner, it can take from a couple of weeks to a couple months, depending on the current workload.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  44. Debbie C. says:

    When applying for disability, do I have the responsibility for getting my medical records or does Social Security petition my doctor for them?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debbie,

      Social Security will request the information that they think that they need to make a decision on your claim; they will not necessarily request all your records or contact all your doctors. If there are particular records that you think would help your claim, I suggest that you obtain those records and submit them yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  45. Keeee says:

    Hello this my first time on this site but I need help answering to some questions. .I was founded disability in middle school and was approved for ssi when I was living with my dad u was In Special education since middle school and graduate from high school…. but I don’t know what they for I think they stop the benefits because my dad diagnose for either learning disability some like that … I think they stop it because my dad made to much money. .. but I wanted to reapply is it a good chance I’ll get approved again or can I get denied . I reapply a couple of months again and I don’t know why they send me yo a psychologist do you? They have evidence my school records but I hadn’t seen nor been to a doctor since… But will I get a approved again

  46. Keeee says:

    Hello this my first time on this site but I need help answering some questions. . Uhh was approved for ssi when I was younger basically leaving with my dad u was I. Special education but I don’t know what I was approved for I think they stop the benefits because my dad made to much money. .. but I wanted to reapply is it a good chance I’ll get approved again or can I get denied . I reapply a couple of months again and I don’t know why they send me yo a psychologist do you? When I have school records I just wanna know will I get a approved again

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Keeee,

      It is possible that you will be approved given that you qualified in the past. If you did not state on your claim that you received SSI in the past, you should tellthe claims examiner who ordered your consultative examination that you were approved in the past and benefits stopped because of your father’s income. You were sent to a psychologist to obtain current information about your condition. You do not say how old you are, but I get an impression that you are age eighteen or older. If that is the case, something more recent than your school records would be needed to evaluate your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  47. Mickiesha says:

    Hi
    I’ve been applying for Disabilty for a long time .my mom did it when I was a baby and I was never approved and when I turned 18 I filed myself and I’ve been repeatedly denied.ive even had my first court hearing and was still denied.so I appealed the denial and haven’t heard anything back.they told me it takes about 2years.is this true?where do I go from here?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mickiesha,

      Yes, it can take up to two years to get a decision from the Appeals Council. I suggest that you contact your State’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to see whether they can provide you with services to get you into a type of occupation that you can perform so that you can become self-supporting. Other organizations such as Goodwill also offer assistance to people who have barriers to employment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  48. Nadine says:

    Hi Kay,
    So I got a phone call saying my 5 yr old daughter was approved for ssi disability on sep 29, 2014. I recently had to send in proof of my income which I did on October 20th. I’ve been calling since then to check on the status of my daughters claim but they keep telling me it’s pending. What does that mean? Also am I able to create an online account to check status online for my daughter since she’s only 5 ? What do I need to do? Also I applied back in May 2014 for her and she was approved September. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nadine,

      Your daughter’s claim is probably waiting for someone to have time to work on it. Claims approved before hers will be paid before hers. You can go to http://www.ssa.gov/mysocialsecurity and follow the instructions to set up an account using your daughter’s social security number.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nadine says:

        Ok thank you. I tried to register using her ss# but it states she needs to be 18 to register. So I guess I will not be able to create an online acct.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nadine,

          Thanks for the information about the online access. You can make inquiries as needed by phone. The Social Security Administration’s call center can be reached at 1-800-772-1213.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  49. Victor Rojas says:

    Me last day ay work was on January 6 2012, i apply on August 11, 2012…As today i am waiting the approval.

  50. Victor Rojas says:

    I have these conditions, i have hearing with a judge, the first 2 times denied because i dont have lawyer, Now i have it..You think i won a case??
    720.0 Ankylosing Spondylitis
    737.43 Kyphoscoliosis/Scoliosos 2 Degree to other Condit
    723.0 Spinal Stenosis in Cervical Region
    728.85 Severe C-D Spam
    723.1 Cervical Pain
    Tiroides/Hipotiroidismo
    Severe Depression

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Victor,

      Whether or not you are eligible depends on the severity of your symptoms that are caused by your diagnoses and how much they limit you. For that reason, I am not able to offer an opinion on whether you will be approved or not.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  51. Tanya says:

    Hi, my son was approved for SSI. I brought my pay stubs as requested to the local SSA and she said she would process it today. She couldn’t give an amount until she processed it. When should I now expect a payment? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tanya,

      If the representative is actually able to process all the information for your son’s claim on the day you visited, you should have payment within about a week.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  52. cheryl says:

    My hearing was in Step. in which I won my case, I received my approval letter 2 weeks later,I just received a check from SSDI, but I have not received any award letter so I don’t know if this check is my back pay or what ,is this common?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cheryl,

      It is quite common to receive the first payment before the letter. You should receive a letter within a week to ten days. In the meantime, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask whether the payment is a monthly check or back pay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  53. MS. PARKER says:

    HEY KAY,

    I’M SO CONFUSED.. I HAD BEEN TOLD MY SONS CASE WAS IN WRITING FOR A WHILE; NOW WHEN I CALLED THEY SAID IT IS WAITING TO BE ASSIGNED TO A WRITER. WHY DO THEY TELL YOU ONE THING ONE DAY AND ANOTHER THE NEXT? I’M SO TIRED OF MIXED SIGNALS I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I MEAN I REALLY NEED HELP WITH MY SON AND THIS IS TAKING TO LONG. I’M A SINGLE MOM OF FOUR ON A PART TIME INCOME. I CANT AFFORD TO TRAVEL BACK AND FORTH TO APPOINTMENTS ON MY SALARY. GAS IS VERY EXPENSIVE NOT TO MENTION THINGS I NEED TO HELP HIM. I MEAN WHAT CAN I DO TO GET MORE INFO?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ms. Parker,

      The information you were given seems contradictory, but it is not. Claim decisions are transferred to the writing department. Later when a writer is available, they are assigned to a writer to write the letter. Your son’s claim is progressing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  54. michelle says:

    I am beyond frustrated.. On October 17th it will be 120 days since I was approved for SS and I still haven’t received any of my back pay. What in the world is taking so long??

    Michelle

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      I am currently being told that the wait time is about three months from the date that you get your first monthly Social Security payment. When it goes beyond three months, you can ask your local office to send a follow-up memo, but it your claim is just waiting in line, rather than having fallen through the cracks, the memo won’t have much effect. If you also had an SSI claim, as the local office to check to be sure that the payment center knows that the SSI has been processed. Presumably the wait is due to more work than the staff can handle on a timely basis.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • michelle says:

        Kay,

        Thank you for the explanation. It sure does stink when they owe me back pay from 2010 and it takes so long. I am about to have my power shut off and I need to but a car to get to my doctors appointments as well as pay everyone back that has been helping me for the last four years.
        Do you know what the amount is to be able to qualify for SSI? Also I am now on Medicare is there someone that can help me deciding on what plan I should choose for my prescriptions?? I qualified for the extra help in paying the premiums.
        Michelle

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          Try contacting the power company; tell them you are disabled and have been approved for SSDI and are awaiting payment and that you will pay the bill when your back pay comes in which will be two to three months. If they say they can’t help; see whether there is a local non-profit that provides energy assistance for power bills. If the power is cut off, contact Social Security and ask for critical handling because of loss of utilities.

          I am not a financial counselor, so I will keep my remarks general. You can investigate the cost and coverages (including medication) of the Medicare supplement insurance by going to http://www.medicaresupplement.com and putting in your zip code and some demographic information. Also, some financial planners specialize in advising on health insurance options. Social Security of more than $741 gross before premium and tax deductions makes you ineligible for federal SSI. Some states have state SSI supplements that allow higher income. Ask your Social Security office whether your state has a state supplement and where to apply for it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  55. Vanessa Garcia says:

    Got approved then denied received a approval letter then recived benefits for one month then got a letter stating they stopped my benefits. I don’t understand

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Vanessa,

      Without seeing the letters, I can’t be sure; but perhaps you were paid under the Presumptive Disability provisions and when the review was completed based on the medical information gathered for your claim the information did not support your being disabled. I suggest that you take your letters to Social Security and ask them to explain the letters to you. If you disagree with the explanation, you can appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  56. reggie says:

    the judge say my disable started in 2008–i won my case 9-25-2014..what is the next thing i should do–do i get back pay also

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Reggie,

      Your next action is to wait. If you have not gotten the letter of approval, the first wait is for the letter. After you have the letter, you need to wait for benefits to start. If you have a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, you should be contacted within two weeks. If you have only a Social Security claim it may be two to three months before monthly benefits start and longer for the back pay. (Yes, you will be eligible for back pay.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  57. Distraught says:

    I hear there are 5 steps to the ssdi process. What step would you be at if you got a denial on your reconsideration? I thought that if I made it that far I should have been farther along before I got denied. Not sure I can handle the judge part of the process because of nerves. Do you think they hard a hard tine denying me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Distraught,

      The five-step Social Security Disability process refers to how it is determined that a person is disabled, not to the appeal steps, which are reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council, and Federal District Court. You can read about the five-step determination process on this website in the article “How Does the Social Security Administration Apply Social Security Law to Determine If I Am Disabled?” which can be found under the “Claim Proces” tab on the top navigation bar.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Distraught says:

        Thank You, How does the OTR work if you sent in an appeal for a judge to hear your case? Can you request an OTR? Can they select u for this?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Distraught,

          Usually it is to a person’s advantage to have an actual hearing where you can be seen and heard. If the judge looks at the record before the hearing and can approve the appeal, the judge may cancel the hearing and just approve the claim. The claimant or claimant’s attorney can request a decision on the record if he or she is sure of an approval without a hearing.

          Sincerely,
          kay

  58. Michelle says:

    I just wanted to add, I have contacted our local DSS regarding her case and the fact that she is supposedly entitled to SSI Medicaid; they are looking into it. However, even if it is due to some type of an error, it’s like, she’s still the one who loses out, by in reality, NOT getting SSI, but also not being able to get Child Health Plus (which if she’s denied SSI, she should get) either. This whole thing has just been a nightmare.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      Your daughter should be able to get either Medicaid through SSI eligibility or the Child Health Plus. It will just have to be sorted out.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  59. liz says:

    Hi, I applied by phone interview for both SSI and SSDI last week (in Sept.). A few days later, on Oct. 1st in my bank account online I noticed a “Pending” direct deposit from US Treasury 310 supp sec, but there was no amount listed- not even $0.00. It was left blank. The day after, it completely disappeared. No other similar deposit reappeared ever since that blank deposit. What can you make of this? Thank you in advance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Liz,

      It seems unlikely that even Supplemental Security Income (SSI) presumptive disability benefits would be processed to payment that fast and non-presumptive claims typically take two to five months. It is possible that there was a data entry error that was corrected; however, I suggest that you call your local office for clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  60. Michelle says:

    Dear Kay,

    I am writing to you again about my daughter’s situation and her OTR review/decision. If you recall from my previous posts to you, she was receiving benefits, lost them ONLY DUE TO INCOME when my husband got a better job, and has only gotten worse since (this is well documented thru tons of school and medical records that were sent, and her dx is autism). We applied again when my husband got laid off from his job at the beginning of the year (He has since been able to find something, but it’s for a lot less $ so she still qualifies). She was denied, which was really shocking, since she got SSI on the first try “for less” a couple of years ago. Based on this, the fact that the determinations office did not use all of the records sent and a critical financial situation, she was granted an OTR review. The status of that was “with the judge” for a couple of months, and then they told me that a decision was made and waiting to be written on 9/22. Could not give me a decision over the phone, but the receptionist said something like “at least you don’t have to wait for a hearing.” Even so, I tried not to get my hopes up because of what has already happened in her case.

    I called this morning to see if there was any status change (I know it can take awhile, but we really need the money, and that’s with both of us working). I am now confused and heartbroken: The receptionist, a different one and older, said “Her case needs to be heard, that’s why you haven’t heard from us yet.” Then I told her about the decision part on 9/22 and it waiting to be written, so I asked “Does that mean her OTR request is denied”? First she said yes, then, “Let me look” THEN “The decision has to be typed up….we can’t give out that info on the phone….you can talk to the supervisor you talked to before” I did leave a message for the supervisor, but honestly, my stomach is in knots and I don’t know what to think? Do you have any advice or insight as to what’s going on?

    Thnk you so much!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      It is my assumption that the second employee you talked to spoke more accurately after she looked up your actual appeal and that a decision is being written up. Again, because you requested a hearing, your daughter cannot be denied benefits without a hearing. The worst case scenario is that the on-the-record (OTR) decision is that a hearing is needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you so much for your reply. I am just so confused and to be perfectly honest, although we have always been people who used things only temporarily and continued to work (as I still believe it should be), part of me regrets ever having the increased income and losing her SSI because it’s like she will never get it back now, even though she needs it.

        I am also rather upset that the supervisor never called me back; I explained why this was so important and imperative just to know something; if she got denied and has to proceed with a hearing then okay (even though I still fail to understand why) but I would just like to know how it stands.

        Oh, and to top this all off…we have three children, and their recertification is due for the state children’s health insurance program at the end of the month. I applied via the state marketplace yesterday and two of them are good to go, and Ella is not. After I called them, it is because state records have her as RECEIVING SSI NOW and therefore, eligible for Medicaid, which must be processed through DSS. They were unable to tell whether this is something that was an error from when she used to get SSI or if this was recently done. I have not heard from the local office at all; when I called them this morning, the most they could see in her file was that it was only SENT TO A JUDGE on 9/17, which is 5 days before ODAR told me he/she made a decision, and according to that office, her file had been “with the judge” for the majority of the summer.

        So, I am getting a lot of conflicting information, and these benefits are something we can really use right now, and this is so frustrating!

        Do you think the fact that the state health insurance records have her as getting SSI means anything, or is this likely an error? Also, all of the employees I have spoken with have told me it’s an “unwritten decision” if she still needs to go through with the hearing, would I still receive a written decision?

        Thanks so much!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          It is possible that the judge made a decision and that the appeal went to the letter-writing department and then back to the judge on September 17 for the letter to be reviewed for accuracy before it is mailed out. Because the information that the state has is currently incorrect, I suggest that you get a letter from Social Security that states the last month your daughter was eligible for SSI and that she has an appeal pending but is not currently eligible. (You may need to go to a Social Security office to get the letter.) Then give the letter to the health insurance office. If the judge decides that he needs a hearing to make a decision on the claim, you will be notified of a hearing date. If your daughter is approved on-the-record, there will be a written decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  61. Jami says:

    Kay,

    I received my award letter. It states the date I became disabled 7/31/2013 and the date I was eligible to receive my benefits 1/1/14 I’m assuming the date difference is for the 5 month waiting period. It also shows me my monthly benefit amount. However, it doesn’t mention anything about the back pay amount. Will this come with the next letter? I assume I will receive back pay from January 2014. Other people stated that the back pay amount showed on their award letter so I’m just trying to figure out why mine doesn’t.

    Thank you,
    Jami

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jami,

      I’m not sure why the award letters vary in content. It can take thirty to ninety days after benefits start to get the back pay, which will go back to January 2014. Watch your bank account or DirectExpress card for a deposit as the funds may arrive before an explanatory letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  62. Michelle says:

    Hi Kay,

    I just saw your response to me from the other day– thank you! I’m a little confused about what you said regarding on-the-record decisions always being favorable…I still haven’t heard anything, but do you think she was approved then?

    Also, just a general comment… I do appreciate your help and am of course grateful for the SSI my daughter received in the past and (hopefully) will again soon. But, because I expected her to be approved on the first app again, was shocked when she got a denial and have pursued an OTR decision ever since, I did some research into how this process all works. Things are really tight for us, my husband & I both work and my daughter’s disability can really take its toll on everyone. But, we are adults who provide the majority of her support on our own. Reading other blogs and things, I can’t imagine how so many adults survive the whole ordeal of being denied and appealing and I think it’s a shame that everything takes so long.

    Thank you again!

    Michelle

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      When you request a hearing, you have a right to a hearing before a judge; the only exception is when the claim can be approved on the record (OTR) without a hearing. That is why I said that on-the-record decisions are always favorable. It can take a long time to get the official letter of approval even when the decision is on the record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  63. MS. PARKER says:

    IM STILL WAITING ON AN ANSWER……EVERYONES GETTING ANSWERS BUT ME…

  64. Michelle says:

    Hi Kay,

    I posted here about 2 months ago regarding my daughter’s SSI appeal, which was awaiting an OTR decision by a judge. I called ODAR today to see if any update was available, and the receptionist told me that the judge just made a decision today, and that it had to be written; however, she was not allowed to tell me what the decision is. I feel as if she hinted at it being positive, like she said something like “It wont take months to get the decision letter and at least she doesn’t have to wait for a hearing.” At this point, I can only wait and hope, but I am wondering you could please answer a couple hypothetical questions for me, assuming she got an approval:

    -When we applied for SSI this time, the rep took what he called a “full application” which included direct deposit info. Is it possible/likely the back pay would just “show up” in the next week or so, without a letter or being contacted further?

    -Again, assuming they did approve her, would ODAR be the one to send the direct deposit for her back pay, or does it get sent back to the local office?

    -About how long does it take to get payment from a favorable decision if an OTR is granted? If it makes a difference, she was given an OTR because 1. the disability determinations office that first looked at her claim really screwed it up 2. We were able to document that there was a lot of financial need to get her case looked at ASAP.

    -Finally, I know this is just speculation, but does it sound like she would be approved? Do all decisions have to be written, regardless of if they are approved or denied to proceed with the hearing?

    At first I was a little relieved in talking with the receptionist today, but I was trying to figure out the deposit time frame on my own & found another post where a person said they were contacted via phone by ODAR after getting a favorable OTR- nobody called, so maybe it didn’t go so good? Then again, the judge just issued his/her decision today- I don’t know how long it would take them to even call.

    Any insight you could provide would be helpful and much appreciated! Thanks so much!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      On-the-record decisions in lieu of a hearing are always favorable. All decisions, approvals and denials, have to be written up. It can take another month or more. The SSI benefits are authorized and released from the local Social Security office. You will be contacted by your local office to update your family’s income, resources, and living arrangements before the benefits are calculated and released.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  65. MS. PARKER says:

    THEY TOLD ME THAT THEY WERE PREVIOUSLY DENYING MY SON BECAUSE HE ONLY MET TWO OF THE QUALIFICATIONS. MY LAWYER STATED THAT MAYBE THE ALJ WILL TAKE MY TESTIMONY FOR THE THIRD QUALIFICATION.(OR SOMETHING OF THAT NATURE) HOW LIKELY IS IT FOR THIS TO BE APPROVED BASED OFF OF WHAT I WAS TOLD

  66. MS. PARKER says:

    I HAD A HEARING FOR MY SON ABOUT 2 WEEKS AGO AND I WANTED TO KNOW HOW LONG IT WOULD BE BEFORE I HEARD SOMETHING FROM THEM ABOUT THE DENIAL OR APPROVAL? THE JUDGE WAS REALLY NICE AND UNDERSTANDING. i DON’T KNOW WHY I AM ON THIN ICE ABOUT THIS BUT I’M EAGER TO KNOW OF THE DECISION. I HATE TO BE IN SUSPENSE. ALSO, AFTER READING THESE POST I DON’T REMEMBER WHETHER I SET UP FOR A DE CARD? I APPLIED BACK IN NOV 2013 FOR HIM.. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT ON WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN….

    THANKS IN ADVANCE

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ms. Parker,

      I am responding to your two posts. As your attorney stated, the point of the hearing is to see if the judge will see that your son is more impaired than previously thought, so it is possible to be approved off verbal testimony (of course, in conjunction with other evidence submitted). The guidelines for getting a decision are sixty days; however, some decisions come through sooner and some take longer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  67. michelle says:

    Hello Again Kay,
    Why is it every time I speak with someone at the local social security office I get a different answer?? Even the supervisor gives me a different answer which makes this mess all the more confusing.
    I have been calling about my Windfall (?) account which is supposedly in the final stage of being set up. Every week I am told to call back if I haven’t received a deposit. What is going on? I have to call back again tomorrow because I still haven’t heard or received anything from the S.S. part ( I have from SSI). They keep telling me that my case is very different from everyone else because I applied, was denied reapplied and filled an appeal, won that appeal and had another hearing for my second application and was granted a fully favorable decision so they put both applications together and are paying me back for over 4 years of back pay. I can’t be the only one that this has happened too.
    I also haven’t even heard anything about Medicare insurance.
    What could be going on??
    Thanks so much for all your help !!
    Michelle

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      Your claim situation is a bit more complicated than average and that is likely why it is taking longer. The local office does not release the funds, so they really don’t have control over how long it takes, but you might want to ask the office to check to be sure that the SSI payment information has been transmitted to the payment center. As far as Medicare goes, when your Social Security back pay is authorized and you get an approval letter with calculations, the letter will also tell you about your Medicare coverage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  68. nigel skipwith says:

    Hi kay quick.question
    I applied for ssi on may 8 of this year i have chf im,obese i have high blood pressure i also have arthritis and i suffer for gout attracts i have a medical exam sat for DDs im guessing they wanna give me a disability exam what are the chances i win benefits i really do need it i struggle to get up km barley mobile nd i .need medicare

    Thanks
    God bless

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nigel,

      I am unable to predict whether you will be approved for benefits. Just be sure that you let the examiner know about all your conditions and all your medical providers.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  69. Jonathan B says:

    Hey, I received papers from the ssa saying that the law judge had a fully favorable decision on my claim, and I was wondering If that means that I was approved. My lawyers also sent me an email saying that my claim was in the approved claims department. The papers that I received were typed with detailed information and It was kinda confusing about whether or not they had approved me or not. Please let me know what this means and what happens next. It would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jonathan,

      A fully favorable decision means that your claim has been medically approved. When you review the letter, look for the date the judge said that you became disabled and the date you are entitled to benefits. Usually the beginning and the end of the letter has the specific decision information; the rest is an explanation of how the judge decided. It can take from a couple weeks to a couple months to get payment started. If the judge’s letter says that the approval is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as well as Social Security, you will be asked to provide updated financial information before payment is issued. If you were approved for SSI and don’t hear from a local office within about ten days, I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment for the financial review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  70. Latasha Williams says:

    Hi I was trying to figure out.I received a letter saying i was medically approved a week ago and they say i had severe impairment and now i have to wait for the non medical decision what does that mean do i have to seen in more paperwork

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Latasha,

      If you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the local office has to talk with you to determine whether you have had any changes in your income and resources before they calculate and authorize payment. If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the payment center has to review your earnings record and the established disability date to authorize release of payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  71. Candice says:

    I was first denied for disability but then a lawyer got me a hearing with the judge. I suffer from Crohns, depression, social phobia, panic attacks, and ADHD. The man came up with 2 jobs that I could still do but when my lawyer asked if I could do them with my social phobia and take enough breaks and not timed breaks (a break whenever I needed it for as long as I needed to deal with Crohns symptoms) he said no. No one would give me that kind of freedom. My lawyer says now we just sit and wait. Does it sound positive or negative ??? I am worried that I wont get approved and I can’t even leave my own home for more than an hour without immediate family, alot of medicine and about 3 bathroom breaks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candice,

      If the judge believes that all the evidence you submitted supports the level of symptoms and limitations you claim, including the need for breaks as described, then your claim is likely to be approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  72. Distraught says:

    Well, I received a call from the DDS of my case asking some of the same questions the CE psychologist did. My husband also received a form in the mail asking questions about me. I am ready to have a breakdown this is mentally hard on people. Is this normal for then to call you?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Distraught,

      Disability examiners do sometimes call claimants and people who know them well. It is a good thing that the examiner at DDS is contacting you and your husband for more information. It means that he or she is really trying to understand your condition and make a correct decision on your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Distraught says:

        Thank You so much for your quick replies. I appreciate it very much.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          You are welcome, Distraught.

          • Distraught says:

            I received my 2nd denial letter l stating I can use my hands,raise my arms, hear and speak so I should be able to do my previous job. I really wish they did not send me to the same doctor for my psychology exam. Should I appeal with a judge or give up?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Distraught,

            I recommend that you request a copy of your claim file and that you discuss discuss your condition and your claim with an attorney who is well versed in Social Security law. You should obtain an experienced Social Security attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  73. Darcel S. says:

    Hello, I am Darcel. I have already have gotten my direct express card but all I keep getting is I need to wait until my hearing but from what has been said ” I have been approved because they don’t give out those card am I correct? An agency filed for me 01/2013 and I never went to see an examiner just filed the appeal. I am just waiting why am I not receiving any correspondences about anything? I just get the run around my case went to virginia now to upstate ny why is this so much?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Darcel,

      Occasionally DirectExpress cards are issued before disability decisions have been made. If you have not yet had the hearing you requested, it is unlikely that a decision has been made on your claim. As far as the location of your case, sometimes one hearing office is so overloaded with cases that it sends some cases to another hearing office for assignment to a judge in that location.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  74. Gabby I. says:

    Dear Kay ,

    we applied for ssi for our son back in June 2014…
    on July 2014 we got a check… and then we got a direct-express card on august 2014 where the same amount that we got for July was deposited. then we got a letter stating how much money we were getting each month July and august.. but we didn’t get anything for September… and we still don’t get a letter saying we’ve been denied or approved??? our son was checked by their doctors over a month ago… we are so confused. we tried calling the person taking care of our case but still no answer.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gabby,

      My assumption is that your son was approved for “presumptive disability,” which provides short-term Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments while a full investigation was made to be sure the presumption of disability was correct. However, these presumptive payments can be continued for up to six months, so I don’t know why they have stopped unless it is a transition between presumptive and fully approved eligibility. You are correct in contacting your local office for an explanation; keep trying to get through.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  75. Tam says:

    Hello Kay, just reading some of the conditions and question on this webpage and decided to ask you a question or two. I applied for SS on July 12, 2014. I have been HIV positive since 1999 and have had many bad sign effect for medication to prevent this disease from progressing. I have also a diabetic. I am very depressed and constantly in pain with numbness in my feet and hands. I also suffer with dizziness, and due to my neuropathy, my balance is way off. I can’t cook or clean unless my two children are there to assist me. I struggle with this because my husband transmitted this disease to me many years ago. Sometimes it is hard for me to get out of bed from being depressed about my life and finances. Can’t tell you everything because my memory is kind of cloudy, but I can tell you this, my life has totally changed. I wake up and go to bed crying about not being about to live the active life I once lived.
    Anyways, my case seems to be going faster than the average person that applying for SS. As of today, I have already seen two appointed doctors from DDS. I am just waiting to receive a good verdict. I would love to know your opinion on what you feel my chances are in receiving an approved awards letter. Thank you for your time and advice in advance

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tam,

      I am unable to predict whether your claim will be approved. It will depend on how limited you are by your three illness and how clear those limitations and restrictions are. If you are denied, I recommend that you appeal with the assistance of an attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  76. brenda a says:

    yes, i went before a judge on june 5th, how long should i should it be before i know something..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Brenda,

      The agency’s guideline is that a decision is supposed to be delivered within sixty days, though it can take longer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  77. Shelly says:

    what if when I migrated (2012) here I had and still have a stroke and a daughter who is turning 4 this year and Im a student and my mom has been supporting us but sometimes her salary is not enough for everyday food , house etc and im thinking to file a disability benefit but Im not sure if Im eligible.. i havent work here since i got here ….

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shelly,

      Some non-citizens qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability without work credits. Whether you meet the non-medical requirements depends on your immigration status. If you are legally in the U.S., I suggest that you apply for SSI with the Social Security Administration to get a formal decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  78. Jfruit says:

    Ok so I applied for disability for my son in April, went to speech therapy appointment in May, got a letter saying approved as a presumptive and could receive payments up to 6 months while they make a decision on July 2, got a denial letter dated July 29th, A check and direct express card and award letter dated August 5th, saying I would receive first payment in September…….so am I denied but still receiving payments or what im confused…..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jfruit,

      I would say that your son’s claim has been denied and the award letter was a presumptive award superseded by the denial letter; however, you should take all the letters to your Social Security office for an explanation and not use any of the presumptive benefits paid to your son until you are told that they are payable.

      If it turns out that your son has been denied and you wish to appeal, I suggest you get a copy of the claim file to see the exact reasons for the denial and also hire an attorney to assist with the appeal. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if your son is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your son’s retroactive award at the time they send his back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  79. michelle says:

    Hello it’s me again,

    It has been almost 6 weeks since I was approved for social security and ssi. I have turned in all the information that was required and I still have not heard anything. What could be taking so long? I have to pay my lawyer myself because the ALJ denied the amount my attorney requested and they have been calling me asking if I know when I will be able to pay them. I have no answer and I have talked to several other people who have been approved and they had their money within 2 – 3 weeks. What could be taking mine so long? Can I call and ask them or do I have to just wait?

    Michelle

    • michelle says:

      I just got off the phone with the main social security office asking them if they could tell me what my status is and she said there still isn’t anything even set up for me yet and she told me I needed to call my local office because it should only take a couple weeks to receive payment from SSI !! Can you please tell me what is going on here ?? I called and checked over a week and a half ago and asked Mary if there was anything else she needed from me and she said no she had everything she needed. I just don’t get it. When I call and leave a message for her she doesn’t call me back.
      What should I do ??
      Michelle

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Michelle,

        I would say wait a week or two before following up. It would appear that workloads are heavy and there are backlogs.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      I suggest that you call your claims representative and ask what actions need to be taken to get payment started and whether they need anything from you. With regard to attorney fees, I believe that you are liable only for the fee amount approved by Social Security, plus any out-of-pocket expenses the attorney incurred such as paying for copies of medical records. You can request the attorney give you an itemization and copy of any bills he or she had to pay as proof of the amount of out-of-pocket costs, which are usually a few hundred dollars or less.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • michelle says:

        I received an award letter from SSI and they released 2,100.00 and they said they can’t release any more because my WINDFALL ACCOUNT is not set up but on the phone they told me I would have my back pay within 2 weeks which is this Friday. What is going on ?? and my SSI award letter said that ” The application you filed for SSI was also a claim for SS benefits. We looked into this, and decided you can’t get SS benefits.” What NOT?? The ALJ said “fully favorable.” I paid into SS since I was 15.
        This is so crazy to understand.
        Please help me before I lose my mind !!
        Michelle

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          First, the Social Security denial letter should give the reason that you are not eligible. Usually in the case of a hearing, the reason a person is determined ineligible for Social Security Disability is that the judge determines that disability began later than the last date you were insured for disability benefits. If that is the case, it should say so in the judge’s letter. And, in fact you filed two claims and the decision is fully favorable.The judge’s letter should say explicitly that you are approved for both Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). I am wondering if somehow, your appeal request was processed as applying only to the SSI claim and not Social Security. If the letter addresses only SSI, then the judge did not make a decision about the Social Security and may have determined a disability date just back far enough to approve the SSI and not far enough back to reach to when you were last insured for Social Security.

          In any event, you have the right to appeal the Social Security denial. I suggest that you can also request a earnings statement, which will show your annual earnings each year and the last date you were insured for disability. Be sure that all your earnings are listed. If you think you became disabled before the date last insured, then you can appeal the disability onset date that has been established. If you have an attorney, contact the attorney to assist you. Also, be sure not to miss the appeal deadline of sixty days.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • michelle says:

            Kay,
            I spoke to the SS main office and they said that my SSA was in the Baltimore office where they set up the Windfall Payment Account and is in the “final stage.” and that when SSI said they decided I wasn’t eligible that it meant that when SSI figured my back pay and monthly payment amount they figured it as though I wasn’t receiving and SSA. The lady said at SS that they should of never said that. Also in one letter from my local office they said after my account was set up they would release all the rest of my back pay (from SSI) but in my award letter from SSI said they release the money in 3 payments six months apart and they released the first payment of 2,100 on Sept 2nd. Why are the payments not divided up equally? and why does one letter say one thing and the other say something else? It also happens when I call my local SS office, one person says one thing and another person says something else. I write everything down when I call, the date, time, who I talk to and what they say. My SS and SSI goes back 4 and a half years and I need to pay people back that have helped me so I didn’t lose my house etc. I borrowed from my daughters college fund and her as well and she and the college needs the money now. Is there anyway I can get the amount that I took from my daughter and her college fund back once my Windfall Account is set up? She is going to get kicked out of college and I also need to purchase a vehicle to get to my appointments. This is so unfair : (
            Michelle

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Michelle,

            You can apply to get all your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay at once for the purpose of purchasing a car to get to medical appointments. Also, perhaps you can talk to the financial aid office at the college and explain the situation so that they could provide a bridge loan just until you get the Social Security back pay, which can take up to three months after the SSI has been set up for payment.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  80. Tyson menifee says:

    I had my hearing and the my lawyer said everything went into my favor does that mean I won my case? He said the ssi office should be contacting me is that how this work and how long should I have to wait to receive my benifts

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tyson,

      Please see my response to your first posting. It can take a few weeks to a couple of months to get payments started after you have received an approval letter from the judge.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  81. Tyson m says:

    I went to my hearing and after the hearing my lawyer said everything went in my favor and I should receive a phone call from the ssi office within 2 weeks does that mean I won my case.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tyson,

      Your attorney’s remarks mean that your attorney thinks you will be approved. You will not know for sure until you get a letter of approval from the judge. I am surprised at the two-week time frame that was suggested. I wonder if your attorney meant that you would get a call within two weeks of receiving a written approval from the judge.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  82. Michelle says:

    Hello! My daughter was receiving SSI a couple of years ago but lost benefits after about 6 months when my husband got a better job with more income that put us over the limit.

    Unfortunately, he lost that job at the beginning of the year, received unemployment for a bit and got a new job, but we are still under the limit. We immediately re-filed for benefits (had to start all over because it has been so long, but her condition, if anything, has only gotten worse). To our shock and even the surprise of the local office, she was denied. However, per the denial letter said her condition is severe, and lists only 2-3 records, when so much more medical & records were sent and can be proven they got.

    Based on this, we filed an appeal, resent every single thing (along with some additional treatment notes in the past month) certified, and wrote a letter to the hearing office practically begging them to look at her case and (hopefully) issue an approval.

    Heard back today that it is being reviewed by a judge now but no promises. Is this generally a good thing and do you know how long it takes? Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      It is a good thing that the appeal is now being reviewed. There is no way to determine whether your daughter’s claim will be approved; however, it sounds as if you have done a good job of submitting missing medical information for the appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Kay,

        Thank you for your response! In her case, the issue was not really MISSING information, but information that they DID RECEIVE, but for whatever reason refused to take into account; per her denial letter, they said they only had two sources of information available (NOT TRUE– and as I said in my first post, we can prove everything was received). On top of that, they cancelled a consultative exam saying she didn’t have to go and issued the denial that same day! IF they really only had such little info and if it seems like they were going to deny her, why not let her go to it? It’s really not fair the way it was handled; we didn’t have a problem at all the first time.

        Anyway, hopefully something good is happening now. I was told this past Tuesday that it was being reviewed by a judge. Do you know how thing that usually takes? Also, if it is good, they took a full application during her interview and have the savings acct info on file; is it likely they would just do a direct deposit?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          Thanks for the clarification. The judge’s review can take a couple weeks or a couple months. If the judge cannot make a decision on the record, you will have a hearing to present your case.

          If your daughter is approved, before payment is issued you may be asked to provide updated financial information for the time between April and the approval. If the bank account that SSA has on file is correctly titled (“your daughter’s name by your name, representative payee”), the Treasury Department will issue the first payment into the account.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  83. Stephen Chris says:

    I received my award letter within 2 months. I wanted to know why they did not include a medical review date for my claim. I need the review date to submit to the department of education for a discharge of my student loans (if I qualify).
    Thanks, Stephen

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Stephen,

      If there is no medical review date, it may mean that they do not intend to review your claim, that they consider you to be permanently disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  84. Kelly says:

    While I was waiting for a decision, I wasn’t able to see my benefits on my online Social Security statement. This morning I could see it, and my claim status was,,sorry for the inconvenience, any idea what that might mean..I’m thinking I got deny.

    Thank you

    Kelly

  85. Lynette says:

    Hello, I had an appeal hearing on July 30, 2014. The judge approved me because I was 55 and the voc rep said I could not work at my old job and there were no equalviant jobs.

    Will I receive letters from the judge and SSA? The way the judge talked I would only get a letter from SSA.

    Also I applied for disability on 11/1/2012. But the judge’s date for approval is August 1, 2013. Will I receive back pay from Aug 1, 2013 or Feb 2014 when I turned 55. I asked this because I know there is a 5 month waiting period. Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lynette,

      You will receive a medical approval letter from the judge that includes the accepted date of disability. You will receive a separate Social Security award from the Social Security payment letter with the amounts you will be paid. If you also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will be contacted by the local office to provide a financial up date before you are paid SSI. You will receive a separate SSI notice with payment amounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  86. michelle says:

    I was wondering what this deposit card is that people are talking about on this page ?? also I was approved for both SS and SSI on July 17th my onset date was Feb 10, 2010 how long does it take to get my first check and does that check include back pay or are they 2 separate checks? One last thing do I get a check from SS and one from SSI every month??? and back pay from each one ??

    This is so confusing

    Michelle

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid separately. Usually the back pay is paid separately from the monthly payments. People who do not have bank accounts to receive direct deposit payments can sign up to get a debit card to which the Treasury Department deposits benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • michelle says:

        Kay,

        So if Social Security and SSI are two different things will I get back pay from both of the separately ?

        Michelle

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Michelle,

          Yes, Social Security and SSI back pay are paid separately. Usually SSI is paid first and Social Security back pay is reduced by the amount of SSI paid for the same months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • michelle says:

            Kay,

            Boy is this confusing. Hopefully this will be my last question for awhile…lol What about medical? I have Medicaid and was wondering if I was better of keeping that instead of having to pay for Medicare?? or is that better insurance?

            Thanks so much for all your help.

            Michelle

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Michelle,

            If you are eligible for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) for twenty-four months, you will become eligible for Medicare in the twenty-fifth month. If you are also eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on a continuing basis because your Social Security is low enough, then you likely will have Medicaid eligibility also. If that is the case, the Medicaid program will pay your Medicare premiums. If you do not have Medicaid ongoing and are eligible for Medicare, you should definitely pay the premiums and get the coverage; many private insurances require that you take Medicare if you are eligible and then they offer a supplemental insurance to increase your coverage.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  87. Kay Derochie says:

    Dear GGC,

    Being approved for veteran’s benefits does not assure approval for Social Security Disability because each program defines disability differently. Initial claims typically pend from two to five months. Given that you have some cognitive limitations, it is good your hired an attorney.

    Sincerely,

    Kay

  88. Distraught says:

    I appealed my denial and received a letter sending e to the same CE dtr for psychological exam. I was sent to both mental and physiczl exam the first time. Why woud they send me to the same dtr. Also, why do you think they only sent me for a psychological exam this time.
    Your comments are appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Distraught,

      I suggest that you call the examiner and point out that you are being sent to the same doctor and that it was your understanding that the law said that different people who were not involved in the initial claim were to evaluate your appeal. That said, even if they won’t change physicians, be sure to attend the exam. To answer your second question, apparently, the only area they think they are missing information is related to your mental health.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Distraught says:

        I went to the same mental CE doctor and the exam was so disappointing. Basically, she asked the same questions but was very BELITTLING in her responses to me. I left feeling beaten down and hopeless. I suffer from severe agoraphobia and anxiety but she said why don’t you do computer work from home. I feel like giving up I am 54 years old in October . I wish they did not send me back to her.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Dee,

          If you do not have current computer skills, it is important to communicate that to the judge.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Distraught says:

            I have not been denied yet. Do you think I will? worried sick.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Distraught,

            No Social Security or DDS employee involved in the original decision is supposed to be involved in the review of your request for reconsideration appeal. It just occurred to me to wonder whether that extends to the independent medical examiners. Again, I suggest that you get legal advice. To answer your question, I cannot speculate as to whether you will be approved or denied.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  89. marlo says:

    Sorry I left out if I was approved wouldnt the guy took my bank acct. Info I seen the judge in feb 2014 and he finally made a decision april 2014 and they finally mailed it out today. I dont know what to think. How long do it take for ssa systems to update there info. I been checking on my ss acct online and there is no change yesterday when I called ssa office they told me it was still pending and for me to call back aug 1 they should have it in there system the answer that is. But this morning before I called the ssa office I called the office where I had my hearing and the lady told me it was mailed out today and I asked when will ss office have it updated in there system she said it is already updated. What should I do now

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marlo,

      The hearing office “updates the system” to alert the Social Security office that the judge has approved the claim; however, I believe that that is different from the part of the system that you can see that has claim status and payment information. Your claim may show as pending until payment amounts are calculated. When you get the hearing approval letter, call the local Social Security office or the call center at 1-800-772-1213 and ask for an appointment to provide everything that is needed for your claim to be calculated and paid.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • marlo says:

        Thanks so much. Another question so if I was denied the ss office would not know that soon? Just trying to get an understanding. Because when it was pending the rep said called aug 1. But the hearing office said it is already updated in there system. So if I am approved how long do it take to get payment I have been ready 60 days. But if thats the case from what day april when the judge made a decision? I remember when I first applied they lady from ss office called me and told me I had enough credits for my kids to get checks. How do that work I hope I am approved. What do u think

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Marlo,

          I can’t say for sure what is going on with your claim beyond the guesses I previously suggested. Call on August 1 as was suggested and say that you were told to call on August 1 if you had not heard anything. When you call ask what remains to be done on your claim, how long it will take them to do it, and whether you need to submit anything.

          If you are approved for Social Security Disability and you have been told that your children will be eligible if you are, then after you benefit has been calculated and is ready for payment, you will be asked to complete a payee application to receive the children’s checks. If they are not in your care, the adult who is caring for them will apply to be payee and receive their benefit for them.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  90. marlo says:

    Hello I just called the ss office and they said a letter was mailed out today. I asked when do I give my bank info. The man told me soon as get the letter to call them back. Do that mean I was approved or not.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mario,

      If the person you spoke to was not just giving you generic information, it could indicate that the letter includes a request for the telephone interview that sometimes follows an approval.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  91. maria says:

    After attending the exmination doctor at 2 months later I received a call from disability examiner, asking what was my previous employment before applying for disabilty what does that mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      Social Security gathers information about your work history to help determine whether you are disabled. If you are under age fifty, you must be disabled from the occupations you performed in the past and all other occupations for which you have transferable skills. If you are fifty or older, you ony have to be disabled from past occupations.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  92. Mistie says:

    Hello there! I have received a packet today from the S.S.A. with various forms including information stating my work earnings and eligibility date with accrual amount along with monthly payment amounts thereafter. I only filed 6/25/2014 and we (attorney) put down when I actually stopped working due to disability which was 2/2011 and the paper said date of eligibility 6/13 ( which i can only assume that means 6/2013?) and next payment of $xxxxx on 7/14 and $xxxx thereafter. Also there were two letters addressed to me but clearly should have been for the attorney, even had a form with the attorney’s social on it, however when i called and spoke with the legal secretary who did the filing she had no idea what it all meant and wants me to bring it in. I am taking it to her Monday but in the meantime was curious if you could shed any light on this for me. Thank you in advance! Sincerely, Mistie

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mistie,

      The maximum retroactive payment for Social Security Disability (SSDI) is twelve months before the month of application, which explains why payments will begin to accrue June 2013. The attorney papers you got may have been a mistake unless they are cc’s (courtesy copies) and should be clarified when you take them to the attorney’s secretary.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  93. Jenny says:

    If I have been waiting for disability since 10/2013 for degenerative back disease, knee and psychological problems. I called today and they said my case was closed on the 11th and I should get a letter shortly. No money in my accounts or anything yet…does that mean I am denied…she said it went from review back to ssa instead of to re-review. Is that a good sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jenny,

      The information you were given does not really reveal the decision. “You will get a letter” could mean the claim was denied; however “sent back to SSA” for additional review could mean that it is medically approved and the next step is review to set up payment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  94. Dean says:

    I have a couple questions. One my claim number has the letter A at the end of the number, why? I haven’t gotten a letter, that is what it shows online. My second question is, my advocate says my chances of getting approved this first time is pretty good. I have two lower back fusions, a neck fusion and a missing calvical all from my job in law enforecement. I’m 45 and got to retire in 19 years instead of 20 years due to my injuries. I went before the retirement board and they agreed it was my time and honored my early retirement due to the pain daily. So, I filed in Feb of 2014 its now July of 2014, my advocate said they have made a decision and I will get a letter in the mail. The strange thing is right after I applied for SSD in Feb, the website took off what my estimated benefits would be, now all of a sudden the estimated benefits are back on the website and it says I’m not currently receiving SSD and to apply. What does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dean,

      The letter A at the end of your claim number means that you are applying for Social Security Disability based on your own work record. I can’t say for sure, but your claim may have been denied. At age forty-five you have to be disabled from all occupations for which you have transferable skills, not just the occupations that you have done in the past.

      If you are denied and feel that you cannot work in any occupation, you should get a copy of your claim file and appeal with the help of a knowledgeable Social Security attorney. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  95. christopher says:

    I suppose ill would like to add this to the question..

    I see alot about if you are going to be approved that they would ask for your bank info or put money directly into your bank, this has not happened, am I denied.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christopher,

      Some offices don’t ask for bank information until a claim is medically approved. If you have not received a denial letter, your claim is still pending.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  96. christopher says:

    Hi there, I see you respond to many of these questions so I figured I would give it a try..

    I recently had my hearing in front of the judge, and it went well it seemed, they said I would not be able to do any work.

    The judges secretary contacted me and told me that my cause was being looked over by additional lawyers and it would just take 1-2 weeks.

    I was wondering if since the judge has signed off, and it was being processed by additional lawyers “to look over the laws” if this means I was approved.

    Any information or knowledge you may have of this would be great.

    thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christopher,

      A verbal approval at the hearing is not “signing” off. A decision has to be rendered, a letter written, and the letter signed by the judge. Ordinarily, “other lawyers” would not review the decision. It sounds as if the claim has been chosen randomly for a quality assurance review by the Appeals Council.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  97. Paul Siau says:

    Kay,

    My wife filed for SSDI in February 2014 due to a host of medical problems. I called to check the status of the application on July 1st and was told that as of June 2nd 2014 she “has met the medical requirements and is eligible for benefits” I was told she would receive a letter in 60 days. We had changed bank accounts so i called local office to provide new info and the lady there said she sees the June 2nd note, but the letter is on hold, but that everything looks “Very promising”, that they are just checking or fine tuning a few things. What does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Paul,

      I do not know what the “fine tuning” is. Your wife will have to ask what is being investigated or processed. One possibility is that the claim has been selected for a quality assurance review.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Paul Siau says:

        Kay,

        Thank you for your swift response. I called back and asked if the delay was anything that we had failed to provide and was told that it was sent to QR. What is the process from that point? I want to believe that she has been approved due to NOT getting a denial immediately and the fact tht every person I have spoken with tells me things look “very favorable” and “check your account each week…sometimes the payments show up before the letter does”. Do you have an opinion as to whether this bodes well?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Paul,

          Given the remarks you received, I would say that the decision on your wife’s claim was an approval. If no errors were made in the decision process, the quality reviewer will not overturn the decision or return it to the examiner for more investigation. Assuming that the quality assurance review supports the decision and that the decision is an approval, the claim will move into the payment calculation process, which can take from a couple weeks to a couple months. It is correct that payment can start before the award letter is received.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Paul Siau says:

            Kay,

            Thank you again for your swift response. It has all happened so much faster than we anticipated. we just filed in February 2014…..almost a year after she left work on STD then LTD. to have a decision in 4 months…….we expected to fight for YEARS!

            Again, thank you for the awesome service you provide.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Paul.

          • Paul Siau says:

            Kay,

            A call to the local office today revealed that my wife’s claim has left QR and has been referred back to State office. Got lucky and had a SUPER nice lady on the phone. She opened up the file and read to me that QR was recommending approval, but they had to “correct” things first. When I asked what could possibly need correcting as she had just verified name, address etc, she read for a few more minutes and said they had to change the onset date from 2013 to the application date, that they didn’t have enough medical info to go with the initial date entered on the app. My question is can we do the happy dance yet OR do we need to wait for the actual letter? How long does it usually take to adjust the onset date then move on to payment? Again, she applied Feb 5, 2014 and this is the original decision. Scared to get excited, but kinda can’t help it! :)

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Paul,

            You can do half a happy dance. Assuming nothing else comes up, your wife will be approved, but she will not have retroactivity prior to her February 2014 application date. She will have the right to appeal the later disability onset date, but given that it has gone through a quality review, it might be best just to accept the later date. Of course, whether or not to appeal would be her decision.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

          • Paul Siau says:

            Kay,

            Half a happy dance it is! So happy that QR didn’t overturn. Now we’re to hurry up and wait for the onset date to be changed. At this point, we aren’t going to argue a years back pay (which would be nice), we just need the monthly check to get started. Best guess on how long changing the onset date could take? You are providing MUCH peace of mind to MANY people from what I’m reading. Thank you again for all of your answers.

            Paul

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Paul,

            In theory it should not take long to change the date and get the paperwork out for medical approval. If you have not been contacted within a month, I suggest following up.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

          • Paul Siau says:

            Kay,

            The plot thickens. I talked to the State DDS case worker who advised QR had some questions they needed to ask my wife. Handed her the phone and they asked about last dr appt, frequency of some symptoms. He said he would need notes from last drs appt and would have “his” doctor review them. If nothing had changed it would go back to QR, then “if approved” would be sent for payment calculation. Does this mean another 30-60 days at QR level? I asked her dr to fax the office notes directly to the DDS worker to cut some of the wait time on a records request. I believe the calls we are making inquiring on “the next step and do you need anything else” are what is keeping her case moving. Glad I only did half a happy dance, because this was NOT what I was expecting to hear…..is it possible they are trying to prove the earlier onset date on our behalf? Just when I think I’ve got the process understood…..I realize I may never understand it.

            Paul

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Paul,

            Yes, it seems as if they might still be looking at the correct date of disability; and, yes, it could mean another wait for the quality review to be completed. Let me know when you can finish the happy dance.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

          • Paul Siau says:

            Kay,

            Recap then update: Was told “approved”, then sent to QR who also “recommended for approval. Sent to DDS so they could ask a couple of questions and get latest dr notes (that showed no improvements). File is back from in house and on DDS examiners desk. Should it have gone from inhouse DR to QR or is it normal to go from inhouse DR back to DDS guy. Worried about reversal now…… any significance?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Paul,

            I don’t know how you were informed that quality review (QR) recommended approval, but sounds as if, when the quality review unit reviewed the claim and recommended approval, they also recommended getting current medical information to be sure that you are still disabled and eligible for ongoing benefits not just payment for past months. So far, you have not received any information that would indicate a reversal is in process.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  98. Susie says:

    Hi Kay,
    I hope you might be able to help me out. I applied for disability here in Colorado online June 25th, 2013. I still have not got an initial response. I have called them so many times and always get the same response “we are waiting on records”, “you have a doctors apt, so we want to wait on that”. These just seems to be a reason every time.

    The woman that will be making the decision finally called me last week, and talked to me about my past job descriptions, then called again the following day about another job I did 15 years ago. My disability is not on the list of disabilities. I had my second brain tumor removed and it caused various problems when it was removed. Paralyzed right side of face, vocal cord. I can no longer eat solid foods, I have lost jugular and carotid which has caused some neurological issues, seizures and I feel like I could go on and on. This all happened back in March 2012. I waited over a year to file in hopes that I would return to “normal”. I also tried going back to a full time job last year doing something close to what I did and was unable to work full time, had issues with communication and other problems. At the end it was a mutual agreement for me to leave.

    How much longer do I have to wait? Also I went and saw their doctor as well. If I am denied, I have already been dealing with this for a year, how long would an appeal case take? This has been a nightmare for me. I am a single woman that has virtually lost everything because I have no money. I have been working since I was 13, I am now 52 and this is the first time I have asked for help. Any thoughts??

    Thank you
    Susie

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susie,

      It sounds as if the examiner was either also waiting to see if you would get better or really just didn’t have time to work on the claim until recently. Given that she seems to be actively working on it now, I would say you could get a decision within a month. (As an aside, be sure the examiner has your work dates, the amount you earned each month, and the problems that led you and your employer to mutually decide you could not continue.)

      If you are denied, you should get a copy of your claim file and hire a knowledgeable Social Security attorney for the reconsideration appeal. You want to win at that appeal, which can take two to four months, so that you do not have to request a hearing for which you can wait a year or more. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  99. Leah says:

    HI Kay,

    I am very sorry for the drawn out lengthy questions. I just tried calling the toll free number, I wrote you 6/2714. The rep said you will respond. Thank you I hope you email me personally. I so much appreciate any solid feedback concerning my onset date changed by my attorney.

    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Leah,

      I did respond on the 27th. Because you signed your post as “Susan,” I directed by response to “Susan,” not “Leah.” There is what I wrote: Direct your appeal specifically to the points that could help prove an earlier onset date. You want to be concise and directed in your arguments. You could also mention that you did not really agree with the onset date that your attorney suggested and that you didn’t explain about the mental issues and stress because your attorney suggested you answer “yes” and “no.”

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  100. Dawn Turner says:

    Good Morning.
    I just checked my application status and it said they needed proof of representation. I was denied benefits the first time , so I have filled an appeal through my attorney. First does this mean I may be getting it this time? and second should they already have this information as my lawyer filled all the paperwork the second time including the assignment of representation? Thank You.
    Dawn Turner

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dawn,

      If you listed that you had representation on your appeal papers, then Social Security could be asking for the representation papers before a decision has been made. Your attorney should have submitted a copy, but it won’t hurt for you to provide a copy now that it has been requested.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  101. linda evans says:

    Dear Kay,

    After I talked with the dds lady,on wed. She had told me that she was finishing up on her end bye Friday. I should know something in a couple of weeks. She had told me she could not tell me her decision. It goes to back to where i applied at, then it will not come back to them unless they ask for more information. So does this mean i was approved? I did not need to see their dr. cause my record showed all she needed on her end.But she did tell she was going back all the way to June of 2012 when I first got sick. I did go back to work for a while after I appiled the first, time but my copd has gotten real bad I live on oxygen 24/7 now,but she went over my work history with me,so the whole year i worked and made 14,611 i will not get back pay will I but I was out alot i would of made more but i was on fmla. I had to quit work cause do to my health i could not be in the heat like that anymore they would not fired me because the dr put me on fmla.So if i re applied in april do i count 5 month off from april of this year to get a first check or does it go back to june of 2012 when i start the count.THis is all if i do get approve,to me hard to sat at this point what they are gonna do? What do thinkmy chances are in winning,since i did not have to go to their dr.s this time around???

    Linda

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      The examiner’s comment that she went back to June 2012 could be an indication that she is medically approving your claim with a June 2012 disability onset. The first nine months of your year of work could be treated as an Trial Work Period during which you would be eligible for benefits. Depending on the exact pattern of monthly earnings, you might not get benefits for the two or three months that you worked after the Trial Work Period.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  102. Junella Walker says:

    I applied for my son for disability because he has ADD/ADHD and now he been label as a learn disorder. The first time we applied I got deine letter with in two weeks and this time we have hear nothing and it been over a month. Is that a good sign he made be approved because it getting hard raising kids by myself and I have to miss a lot of work because I am always been called to the school or baby sitter because they cant handle him. I am just wondering if I should try and find an lawyer to help fight for it.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Junella,

      I recommend that you get a lawyer right away to help with this first level of appeal. If you have not already done so, you need to get copies of any testing from your son’s school and letters from teachers that describe the problems he has in school including the behavior they cannot handle. You can ask Social Security to hold processing the appeal until you can submit school records and/or appoint a lawyer.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  103. Dana says:

    Hi, I spoke with my DDS examiner and she received the report from the CE doctor that i saw less than a week ago and that the in house doctor just needs to review the medical record. She then said that she will send the file to SSA and they will either call me or send a letter and that i should hear something by the end of next week. I know i may be anxious but what does all this mean? It all happened fast i had 2 appointments last week and quick movement already? Is it a sign of approval? Why would SSA have to call me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dana,

      Of course I cant be sure, but it sounds as if the examiner is recommending approval of your claim contingent on the in-house doctor agreeing after reviewing the records. You could receive a call from SSA to provide additional non-medical information to get payment set up.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  104. DownandOut says:

    Hi Kay,
    First I’d like to thank you for your time and patience in answering everyone’s questions. You’re very kind! I’ve looked over all your answers and I may have missed it but how do you know in NC if you’ve been denied both SSD and SSI? I received the dreaded blue ink envelope from the Baltimore SS office denying SSD but I don’t see anything about SSI. If denied SSD are you automatically denied SSI In NC? Verbage: ” we have determined that the condition was not disabling on any date through 6/30/11 and the last date insured for disability benefits.” Also what insurance are they referring too? Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Down and Out,

      You have received a Social Security Disability (SSDI) denial, but you could still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income. You will receive a second notice regarding that claim.

      To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you have to be insured for Social Security Disability, that is you have to have a certain number of quarters of coverage (work earnings subject to Social Security (FICA) taxes) and a certain number of those have to be in the ten years before the the date you became disabled. Your letter is saying that you were last insured (last had the sufficient number of credits in the ten-year period) on June 30, 2011 and that the medical evidence for your claim does not support that you were disabled June 30, 2011 or earlier. You can appeal the Social Security denial if you disagree. Supplemental Security Security Income does not have a work-credit requirement for U.S. citizens and some alien residents. Instead your income and assets have to fall below a certain level. If so and you are disabled according to Social Security law, your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Dani says:

        Hi Kay,

        You say “If so and you are disabled according to Social Security law, your claim will be approved.” But, didn’t that letter just deny me? I’m sorry but I’m VERY confused.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Dani,

          Either you are not disabled as defined by Social Security law or insufficient information was submitted to demonstrate that you are. If you think an error has been made and you have not exhausted all your appeals, you can file an appeal.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  105. Jim says:

    Hi Kay,

    my question is based on a letter I received stated that I requested a phone appointment when I did not but I was told that my claim was sent for review just over a week ago. The letter said they needed info to complete my claim and under things needed was actually the only thing was a bank ststement or checkbook for the account I wanted payments deposited. now I dont want to assume but you think this could be a good sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jim,

      I cannot tell the status of your claim from the information you have given me. When did you apply and did they say where your claim was being sent for review.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  106. Trudy says:

    Hi Kay,

    I filed for SSDI in January 2014. I was told the case is now with the determination services. I called as I had not received the name of my case worker or an appointment to see a social security doctor. I was told the only thing they are waiting for is a subsidiary question from my previous employer? I am not sure what that means.

    I also have a second question. I pay for private disability insurance and have initiated a claim. If it gets approved and my disability gets approved, would that affect the amount of SSDI I receive?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Trudy,

      Apparently the Disability Determination Services has all the medical information that it needs to understand your medical condition, but they want more information about the physical and mental requirements of your last employment.

      You can receive both private disability insurance and Social Security Disability (SSDI). Your policy will say whether there is a reduction. It is good to apply for both because you will be eligible for Medicare after twenty-four months of SSDI benefits. Also receiving SSDI protects the amount of Social Security Retirement you have earned thus far.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  107. linda evans says:

    Hello it is me again. Since i did go back to work and i made last year 14,611 will I be denied again i was out a lot in the hospital and went on FMLA and I went back on fmla back in april 1st 2014 and still on fmla there was one month of this year that i made 1282.92 will that hurt the other months was under 1070. But the disability determination said i should here something very soon. So where am i at on my case. She said i had everthing i needed to not see their dr’s so what does that mean as well?

    • linda evans says:

      If the dd office called me a week ago. And i reapplied April 6th does that mean iam close to a decision. All she wanted was what hosp. i was in in may of this,i asked if i was gonna go to their dr soon she i was not going to their at all,she asked me if i needed to go will i be willing to go see their dr i said yes. so does this mean they have all they need to approve me on ssi and ssa?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      I am responding to your multiple postings. As previously stated, it is possible that you will approved based on your current condition of being on oxygen, if the oxygen will be permanent. Whether you will approved with a date of disability earlier than April 2014 depends on two things: how severe your earlier conditions were and the timing and length of the two periodsthat you returned to work.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  108. Michelle says:

    Hello- I applied for SSI for my daughter in January; she has Autism/PPD-NOS and was approved for benefits back in 2012 and received them for about 9 months until our income went up, and was put over the limit.

    Unfortunately, I was laid from my job at the beginning of the year, so I reapplied for his SSI. Because she had stopped receiving payments over a year ago, we had to start from the beginning with the medical portion. However, the man at the local office was really nice and was sure that she would be re-approved and “put back into payment quickly” so she did what she called a full application and asked for direct deposit info up front (last time, the local office called for this after she was medically qualified).

    We have been waiting and she was scheduled for a psych exam that they had set up this coming Thursday. However, they (DDS Office) called today and literally said, “never mind, we have enough info with what we have, so those appts are cancelled.” They refused to give a decision and any further info.

    I assuming that’s a positive thing and she was approved, or is officially going to be very soon. IF this turns out to be correct, being that they already have direct deposit and other info from the “full application” should I expect a call from our local office, or is it possible for them just to start payments?

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michelle,

      Your daughter’s claim is probably going to be approved because they are unlikely to cancel the appointment otherwise. You will probably be called by the office so that they can review your income, assets, and living arrangements between the time the claim was filed and it was medically approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  109. Nicole says:

    Hello,
    I applied for disability in 2011 but was denied because i was told by rep I needed to be out of work for at least a year to apply. So I applied 2012 was denied due to lack of info.. letter just said they didnt have enough info. So March of last year I applied again was order to get have lung fuctions testing which my dr said showed my limitations but in Sept 2013 I was denied again but right after denial I got sick dr order chest xrays and xray showed due to my sickness in 2011 I have severe permenant lung scarring on right lung and mild lung scarring on left lung. All my drs said all ssa would need to do is see my xray and I will be approved. So Oct 2013 I filed reconsideration. Until a week and half ago I was told due to the govt shut down last yr my papers are sitting on someones desk because they are backed up. Well Monday May 26 I got a lletter date May 20 from ssa stating the name of my case worker which my claim has been sent to Maryland since I live in VA and did reconsideration.. The letter had a function questionnaire as well as one for my pain because I was dx with fibromyalgia due to my 2011 illness. I filled forms out sent them back the next day. I called my case worker yesterday to make sure my questionnaire was recieved because letter said I only had 10 days to send it back. Case worker said not to worry they havent received my questionnaire and that system sent me a letter bcuz they hadnt received it but to disregard the letter…i did get letter yesterday it was reminder that I only had 10 days to respond.. He said because He is talking to me not to worry about 10 days or other letter. I told him I forgot to put info about my lung xray I had done he said he already had all my old and new medical records he even joked about how large my file on medical records are and he said once he recieves the questionnaire since thats the only thing he is waiting on that it will only take 2 or 3 weeks once he gets my form back.. SO DOES THAT MEAN I AM APPROVED?
    he was really pleasant but just to give you background. In 2011 at 23 weeks pregnant i went in labor to make long story short i had emergency csection some kinda way my amniotic fluid got infected and 3 days later infection traveled to my lungs causing ARDS and requiring me to be put on a ventilator in which time I developed pnemonia and sepsis. I was on vent 3 and half weeks. due to meds used it attacked my muscles lost all muscle tone and strength couldnt walk had to go to inpatiend rehab to regain strength to walk.. because of all that I now have severe asthma..which i never had asthma until 2011.. I am being treated for sever asthma, ARDS, fibromylgia, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. my lung scarring causes me to be exhausted and have shortness of breath often. thanks for any info

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nicole,

      It is not possible to know for sure, but there seems to be a possibility that your claim will be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  110. prettypissed says:

    How come others get told of their status and I called several times and called the adds office and they made a decision yesterday but they refuse to tll me anything but to wait 10 days for the letter. mean why can’t they tell me anything and they were pretty nasty about it too.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pretty,

      Official policy is not to give out decision verbally. Some employees disregard the rules.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  111. Ms j says:

    I sued ssi with my attorney they remanded and expedite case back to Courts I have been fighting ssi for 6 yrs I am now 56 the judge who sended it back said that I should had been Deemed disable at the age of 50 so on last week May 27 I call 1-800 number they said that my case has been close and they were sending a letter out to one More hitch is that my attorney had me to Apply again and they gave me ssid I waiting to see if they give me back pay I have 3 Generated disc Migraines and 2 rotator cuff tear left shoulder had surgery waiting for surgery right shoulder just found out 3 month I also found out I have Firyomiah so how long do you think it would be before I receive my letter it been a week and they did say expedite my case

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ms. J,

      It sounds as if your decision is in the writing department, so you should have the letter of decision within a few weeks.

      Kay

  112. eugenie says:

    logged into my ss acount online and there it said my ssd was active so i knowo ive been approved but the verification letter on states that the monthly amount is $792 not $1400 as the rep told me is the amount she gave correct? or should i go by what the benefits verification letter states

  113. Melissa says:

    Hello,

    On may 7 I went to the social security office where they took all my info and bank info and I signed some papers. They told me I’d be getting $2,000 a month with a back pay check of $8,000 and was told I’d get a letter in the mail. It’s now June 1st and still no letter or money. How long does this take? Or what’s next? Am I approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      I would expect that your monthly benefits will start within a month. The back pay can take from one to three months.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  114. Kathy Parker says:

    Hi,

    I was called by the local Social Security Administration office to let me know my claim was approved. Yet when I check the status on-line, it says a determination has not been made yet. How long does it take to get the system updated once approved?

    Thanks

    Kathy

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      Usually the online record does not show approved until the payments have been calculated and the benefit is ready to be paid. This can take from a couple weeks to a couple months.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  115. eugenie says:

    i forgot to mentioned that i was told that on the date that i filed 12/16/13 that if approved my payment would be $774 for ssdi and also applied for ssi on that day they tol me that the ssi was payable until the ssdi was approved and the checks for ssi would stop that is why i am confused when i was told this week by the rep that my monthly payment would be $1400 and my child would recieve $700 if that is so would i recieve backpay for those amounts my disability started 11/30/13

  116. eugenie says:

    i was told when i applied that the first payment was payable until june 2014 i applied on 12/20013

  117. eugenie says:

    the amount she quoted for$1400 and my child $700 does that mean i am approved for both ssdi and social security

  118. eugenie says:

    ive been waiting for an decision i had an appointment with an social securitydoctor on may 15th i called my adjudicator but no answer on the 27th of may i called the 800 7721213 and was told that i was approved she gave me my monthly benefits amount and the amount for my child and set up a phone interview to have them call me she told me to have ss cards birth certificates and bank info my question is is that true for the amounts cause i couldnt remember if she said they would call or if i needed to go to the office when i called back another person told me that it wasnt approved and that i was being reviewed i hung up from her and called and spoke with someone else and told her what the first lady had said and that i had an appointment on the 12th of june but i couldnt remember if she said a phone interview or to go to the office she told me that a phone interview was not needed she sad the first lady did it wrong she dont know why i was having a phone interview and to have all info that the first lady told me to have i asked her if i was appoved and she said they wouldnt be wasting their time if you wasnt i asked her if she see a benefit amount and she told me she didnt my question is was the first person i spoke to right ? how come she saw benefits amounts and approved but the others didnt? and why am i having to have this interview with bank info? is the amounts she quoted correct for monthly benefits and child benefits? so i have been told to either wait for a letter or go to the office

  119. Sabrina says:

    Hi
    I applied for SSD Sept 25 2013 and recieved a letter denied because I did not have enough work credits, in Feb 2014. but they helped me to apply for SSI. I was told by the determination examiner to go to CE in April and that I may or may not recieve the letter and I never did recieve one. I did go to CE visit as they requested me to go.
    So far I have not heard from them and I decided to call today to check the status and to make sure that there was nothing else I was suppose to do. The represenative I spoke with was a very nice lady. She told me that there was nothing else that I needed to do and if I did not recieve benefits by June 4th to give them a call. She also ask me how much is your rent, why I dnt know. I told her how much and I ask her again is it anything I would need to do and she said no that it is being everything is finishing being processed. She updated my address and phone number and that was the end of the conversation. However she did not say directly that i had been approved but I am wondering have I for real? How long is the wait before recieving an actual letter of approval or denial.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sabina,

      It appears that your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim has been approved and final processing for payment is in process. You will get the letter around the same time as the first payment, though not necessarily before.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  120. Lisa says:

    Dear Kay,

    I just called the social security office to follow up on my disability application. and he said a decision had been made May 5th. but he couldn’t give me an answer over the phone on the decision but he did say that I should receive my “good news” letter by May 26th. Would that make you think I may have been approved?

  121. Damien says:

    Hello, I had an appointment today with the social security but instead I received a phone call from them, it was like an interview she ask me how many children I have, my social security and if I had a bank account I said no bank account so she said I will be receiving a bank card through the mail and they will have a response for me in 120 days if I been approved what does that mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Damien,

      If your claim has been awaiting a medical decision, I would say that a favorable decision has been reached and that your claim is being processed for payment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Damien says:

        Exactly that’s what the social security lady told me that their waiting for a decision to be made. I’m just kind of confuse because they haven’t approve me yet and I she told me that I will be receiving a bank card through the mail within 3 days or so. I had apply in 2012 but got denied so hopefully this time I get approved. Thank you kay :)

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Damien,

          For whatever reason, for some time now, Social Security has had the policy of not telling a person that they have been medically approved, even in the very last stages of getting payment set up, so it is really hard to tell where a claim is sometimes.

          Best regards,

          Kay

  122. Marie70 says:

    Thanks Kay.But I actually missed the appointment cause I had a doctors appointment but they called regarding SSI when I called back was told I was elgibile this have been going on since 10/2013 I pray it works out and I get approve!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      If you were told that you are medically eligible, then you will receive benefits if you meet all the non-medical criteria.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  123. shantae says:

    My 12 year old was approved for ssi when will I get the first payment is was approved on 4/28/2014

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shantae,

      I did not see your second question when I responded to the first. It can take from a couple weeks to a couple months or more for payment to be started.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  124. shantae says:

    How long do you have to wait for a ward letter to come from ssa

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shantae,

      New claims typically pend from two to five months and sometimes longer. Reconsiderations, the first level of appeal, can pend for the same period. If you have to file a hearing appeal you can wait a year or more for a hearing date and another sixty-plus days for an approval letter. After being medically approved, it can take another few weeks or even months to receive an award letter.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  125. Neenee says:

    Hello,
    My question is I have a disability claim in and I was told that they were requesting my doctors information and so I gave them both of my doctors phone numbers and I applied before about a year or two ago without a lawyer this time I have a lawyer. How long from now will I hear a decision and if I will my chances be greater because I was denied in the past and now I have a lawyer my chances will be greater? Oh by the way I have Rheumatoid Arthiritis.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Neenee,

      Being denied in the past does not improve your chances of being approved now; however, having an attorney who is knowledgeable in Social Security could certainly make a difference. If you are in fact disabled as defined by Social Security law, the attorney should know how to present the facts of your condition as related to the law. Note that if the claim examiner requested contact information for your doctors directly from you, you should notify your attorney so that he or she knows what is happening with the claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  126. Distraught says:

    I am so disappointed received a denial today. I do not know if I have the mental energy to fight for a reconsideration because I am falling apart. Please, should I appeal within the 60 days. I kbow I cannot function in the workplace.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Distraught,

      I recommend that you appeal and that you get legal representation to help with the claim. Be sure to choose an attorney who is well experienced in Social Security Disability law. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  127. TRACY says:

    Hi kay i recieved your response thank u now i have another problem my case manger called me and said they just recieved my earnings from 2012 n 2013 and my alleged onset date is for september 2012 i am finalley scheduled for a hearing in july but she said my earnings was over the limit n that she will have the lawyer to contact me about options i can take she did ask me when did i stop working i told her june 1st 2012 and it was a babysitting job watching my now 15 year old cuzens which i filled on my taxes and thats where my earnings is from my questions is can my onsetdate be changed from june 2013 to june 2014 or should i just withdraw my hearing or what should i do can my date be changed now that my hearing is scheduled for july

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tracy,

      I recommend that you talk with your attorney to get his or her advice on the best course of action. I may also have some comments on things to consider; but first could you please give me the following information. (I think you may have typed in some of the dates incorrectly.)

      1. Were you working in September 2012, the date you claimed as your disability onset?
      2. If not, when did you start to work?
      3. Is June 1, 2012 the correct stop work date? Or did you mean a different date?
      4. Were you earning $1,010 gross wages or net profit from self-employment in all the months you worked in 2012 and/or $1,040 per month in 2012?

      Thanks,

      Kay

  128. Julie says:

    My social security statement says that at this time I would not qualify for disability due to not having enough work credits.
    Can you tell me how important this is?
    I have a disability, would I still be able to get Disability even though my statement says no?
    Do they look at you medical information first then your social security statement or the other way around?
    Please let me know.

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Julie,

      Your Social Security Disability claim will not be evaluated medically if you are not insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI). If you do not have enough work credits, you are not eligible. That said, the statement is telling you that you are not insured now. If your disability began a long time ago, and you had fairly steady work in the past, you might be insured at the point you became disabled and might be approved. In the case of such an approval payment would go back no further than twelve months before the date of your application.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a second disability program that the Social Security Administration administers. It does not have work credit requirements for U.S. citizens and certain alien residents. Instead, your income and assets have to fall below a certain level because it is a public assistance program.

      If you are uncertain whether you might either have enough work credits at the right time or whether your income and assets would meet the SSI limits, I suggest filing an application for each to get a formal decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  129. Marie70 says:

    I applied for disabilty 10/2014 as of today still no decision but yesterday I received a call from voice call with automated message saying I have an appointment but missed called when I called they said SSI needs to speak with me! Has anyone had this happen before?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marie,

      If the call came from the local Social Security office and not the Disability Determination Services, then your claim has probably been medically approved and the appointment is to go over non-medical eligibility and payment calculation factors. Be sure to keep the appointment and confirm that you will attend the appointment if you were asked to provide confirmation.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  130. Ruth says:

    A friend of mine filed an SSDI application online. He electronically signed it and got a confirmation number. When he tried to re-enter the application that same day to print out an entire copy of the application, he received a message that said (something like) “”We cannot process your online application because some of the information you entered does not match what we have on file.” He is not good at spelling and typing and may have some typos. There was a phone number to call, but does he have to wait five days before calling since the online application was just electronically signed and submitted today? It took him the better part 60 hours to piece together and enter the online application and he is afraid he will have the start the entire process from scratch. Question: when he calls in five days, will they let him know what information was a mismatch and correct it over the phone or online with them. The salary questions were very confusing because his pay could vary greatly depending on staff attendance and the application did not ask more straightforward questions like “What was your W2, box 4…..”

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ruth,

      I think that it is more likely that your friend made an error in entering his date of birth so that it did not match the information associated with his Social Security number or made some other error in basic information. It is less likely that the problem is related to an error in listing income information, which could be sorted out later. I am not familiar with the corrective process when this type of error notice appears, so after he talks with Social Security perhaps you or he could share his experience with me and other visitors to this site.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  131. shontay says:

    Hi I applied for ssi for my 6yr old son in December he adhd h takes mg of concerta hes in sts program he goes to therapy 4 times a month and they want him to go to a doctors app they set up what does this mean is it a good chance he will be approved

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shontay,

      Your son is being asked to attend a consultative examination because the information in his claim file is insufficient for the claims examiner to make a decision. The examination is not an indication of whether the claim will be approved or denied.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  132. Pam says:

    Hi Kay, I have worked all my life as a nurse until 2009 when I was diagnosed with macular degenerative disease in my left eye which caused severe headaches and anxiety. I am also diagnosed with depression, restless leg syndrome, I applied for disability Jan 2014. I received papers in the mail asking questions about what all I can do for myself. I have not had any communication with anyone. I called last week to check the status and I was told the psychologists has seen my claim and the other doctors will read it this week. And if I have any more documentation to mail it to the local ss office. What does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pam,

      The information you got from the claims examiner is that your claim is being worked actively on by the Disability Determination Services staff, which includes physicians trained in Social Security law. The examiner is gathering information to fully understand your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Pam says:

        Thanks Kay.
        I called the SS office today 4/28/2014, they told me a decision was made and I should receive a letter soon. I’m worried since it only took 3 1/2 months.

        • Pam says:

          Sorry, I didn’t finish the last statement. My question was. Since I was told I will receive a letter with their decision, Does that mean I was denied?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Pam,

            Social Security often does not reveal by telephone whether a decision is favorable or unfavorable; therefore, the fact that you were told you would get a letter does not necessarily mean your claim has been denied.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Pam,

          The length of time your claim pends is not an indicator of whether it has been approved or denied.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  133. Sarah says:

    I applied for disability on March 20, 2014 for my disability of Asperger’s Disorder & Generalized Anxiety Disorder, of which I have been diagnosed within the last two months. I have been disabled my whole life, and in and out of hospitals attempting diagnosis. I have been a patient of the MHMR since I was 5yrs old, my symptoms showed since I was 1 year old. I now have a 10 month old son to support, who I am 100% sure I passed my disorder onto. The SSA still admits that they have a letter on file that they sent me in 2004 claiming I was disabled & my mother refused the income on my behalf. I checked online and saw that they had made a decision on March 24th 2014. Is it normal for them to do that so fast? I have been checking my Net Spend Premium card everyday, but its always empty. I have no idea what to think. Any advise for me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sarah,

      It is possible that the decision you are seeing is a denial of a Social Security Disability claim (SSDI) for insufficient work credits and that your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim is still pending. I suggest that you call the Social Security call center and ask whether the decision you see posted on line is for SSDI or SSI.

      Also, if your son has not been evaluated, I suggest checking with the Asperger’s Association of your state or the nearest one to see what resources are available for testing him. Depending on the findings, you could apply for SSI for him as a disabled child.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  134. Distraught says:

    After my mental CE exam I started to worry about my emotional state so I set up an appointment with a therapist to discuss my depression, anxiety, agoraphobia and chronic foot pain which is destroying my quality of life. I was an emotional wreck on both visits and could not stop crying when I explained my situation to her. Her question to me was “Have you considered filing for disability”? I went to her because I wanted her opinion and did not tell her about the disability claim I had filed because I wanted her to get to know me first. Everytime I visit she tells me I should file for disability. I have my physical CE exam on the 10th of April. Should I ask the therapist for a letter and send it in to the office where I filed my claim?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Distraught,

      Yes, act quickly to get a letter and a copy of your therapist’s chart notes sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS). Also call DDS right away and tell them that you have new mental health evidence to submit and that a letter and chart notes will be coming from your new therapist, who, without knowing you had applied, recommended that you apply for disability.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Distraught says:

        Thank you for your quick reply

        • Kay Derochie says:

          You are welcome.

          • Distraught says:

            I called DDS and gave them the therapists name. Went for the Physical CE exam today. The doctor was very blunt and to the point. I did not know what to think. He said you are done and left the room.

          • Distraught says:

            Are most of the CE doctors blunt and short with the pts. I was surprised that my exam only lasted 10 minutes. What is the nrmal?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Distraught,

            The personal manner of consultative examination (CE) doctors varies doctor to doctor, as it does with any doctor. If you think you did not receive a thorough examination, you should write a brief note to the claims examiner that states the length of the exam and describes the examination.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  135. Quadeira says:

    Hi Kay,
    I have applied for social security in June 2013. Just this week I got a call from social security administration about my attempt to work. I explained that and the lady asked me to bring in a copy of all my earnings along with my birth certificate. I didn’t think to ask her why she needed the birth certificate on the earning so today I had called the examiner in the dds department and asked her why they needed that info. She told me they needed info to figure out when would be a onset date. So I was trying to ask her was I approved and she said she couldn’t say. She did say I had very serious conditions and she will be sending my claim to get signed off by the doctor. She also said my attempt to work didn’t effect anything. She said my case will be back n the field office next week. If they felt my case would be denied will they ask me to bring in my earnings from the job and my birth certificate or is that something they do in every claim. Do you know what I should expect can the case still go either way. Do the ssa know before they get the case back in the field office if I will be approved or not? I know the dds lady said it unlikely that I will be pulled for review.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Quadeira,

      My assessment of the situation is that you are being asked to submit earnings information so that the Social Security office can double check that your work will not affect the decision to approve your claim and/or so they can apply the work incentives to your claim and identify trial work period months. The birth certificate is needed to document the number of work credits required to be insured and to calculate benefits

      Although I can’t be sure, I think that the DDS examiner was basically telling you that she was recommending medical approval of your claim.(This would not be finalized until the reviewing doctor signs off.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  136. Sharon D. Williams says:

    I called the ODAR and was told my case has been closed and I would receive a letter in the mail. What exactly does that mean?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sharon,

      The information you received from the hearings office (ODAR) means that a decision has been made on your appeal and an approval or denial letter has been mailed to you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  137. Sharon D. Williams says:

    I applied for SSDI in 2010 and was denied, I than appeal with a attorney and was still denied. So I appealed again in June of 2013. I called today to check the status and was told that they need to email payment processing so that they could send me a letter. Does that mean I was approved. I ask the rep but he said that he was not at liberty to discuss that with me to just wait on the letter from payment processing.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sharon,

      Well, it seems to me that your claim wouldn’t be in the payment processing center if you had not been medically approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  138. V says:

    Hi, I applied in Oct 2013, I called DDS this past Thursday and was told a decision had been made. Today on the website, it shows all the information I could not see since I had filed for SSA–I do not qualify for SSI. I am just at a loss and can’t believe how frustrating this process is. I was 50 when I applied. Being optimistic inspite of and knowing that Gods will is my way, where will I find out on the website what my benefits will be?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear V.,

      You will not find out the amount of your benefits on the website until all the processing has been completed and payment is set up to be released. A little time has passed since your posted your comment. If you have not been contacted by Social Security–either with a denial letter or a request to provide non-medical information to complete work on a medically approved claim, I suggest hat you you call your local office or the call center at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment to discuss what you need to provide to complete your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  139. Angie says:

    With your experience and or knowledge, does psy diagnosed bipolar, PTSD, major depression along with orthopedic surgeon diagnosed degenerative disk disease and advanced arthritis in neck warrant a successful disability ruling?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angie,

      Whether or not a disability claim is approved based on certain diagnoses depends on the severity of the symptoms and restrictions arising from the diagnoses. With multiple conditions, it can be harder to present your claim to show the degree of limitations you have from the combined sources. It might be a good idea to get an attorney to help you file your initial claim. If you decide not to and are denied, you should definitely get legal representation for the appeal. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  140. Maria Pazo says:

    I had my disability hearing on Feb. 6, the ODAR Judge sent me for an mental examination, I have a physical condition that causes me to have anxiety and depression, even though I’m applying for a physical illness. I’m over 50, worked for 30 years and my doctor supported me in my claim. The vocational expert gave only one job that I might be able to do. The attorney who represented me seemed please with the outcome of the hearing, even though no decision was made, I’m still waiting for the appointment with the psychiatrist. Does this scenario look like a possible approval. I’m truly desperate, I’m financially stranded and in major pain.
    Any input will be greatly appreciate it.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      It is really not possible to know what the outcome of your hearing will be. With regard to the mental health evaluation, either the judge feels he needs more information to make a decision; or because you have claimed a mental illness, you need to be evaluated to determine whether you are capable of managing your benefits, if approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  141. Jessica says:

    I don’t really know where to start with this so if it seems all over the place please forgive me….My husband applied 4/13. He was told by the adjudicator’s office that a decision has been made and the claim was sent back to the local office. He called the local office and the first person he talked to said the claim was approved and he needed to speak to person #2. That person told him it need to go through a panel of people and it could still be denied. Getting concerned he called the 1-800 number and that person said the claim was still “pending”. Confused now we called back to the local office and spoke to person # 3 who also said it was still pending. After explaining to her that we have been told his claim was approved and was concerned what it was pending she then transferred us to a supervisor. So person #4 (at the local office and who is suppose to be a supervisor) told us that yes the claim has been approved but it has been randomly chosen for quality review. I have tried to do some research on QR and have found that this happens every so often. Most of the time they agree with the initial decision but have the right to overturn that decision. My question to you is…have we been told “approved” prematurely and or maybe “off the record”? I don’t want to get our hopes up but this sounded very promising. I would hope that someone wouldn’t tell you approved if they didn’t see it somewhere right? How long does this QR process take?

    Thanks
    Jessica

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jessica,

      The information the supervisor told you is correct. Some claims are randomly selected to be reviewed by the Quality Assurance department. It is true that most of the time the original decision is upheld, but it could be overturned. Such claims could be approvals or denials; however, given that both the first rep and the supervisor told you the claim had been approved before being sent to QA, I think you can depend on that being true.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  142. Mercedes says:

    Hello.. I called the social security office to check on my appeal and the lady said that it was still pending and that my call back date was April 22nd and to call back if i haven’t received a letter or a deposit. I appealed Nov.1st. Does this mean there’s a good possibility that we have been approved? I’ve been dealing with social security for 7 years I’ve never gotten that response before.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Merecedes,

      I cannot give you a definite answer. If the representative did not misspeak, I would say that the appeal was medically approved and that you can either expect a request for non-medical information or a deposit. However, what she might have intended to convey is that you would either get a denial letter or a deposit.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Mercedes says:

        That’s what I thought. It’s just that over the years they usually say to wait until I receive a letter in the mail, or that it was denied before the letter was sent to me. I’ve never been told a call back date.

  143. tasha says:

    i WAS TOLD TODAY BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION THAT I HAVE BEEN APPROVED THE LADY SLIPPED UP AND TOLD ME HOWEVER I ASK HER WHATS NEXT SHE SAID THAT IT CAN TAKE UP TO 60 DAYS TO RECIVE BENEFITS. DOES THAT SOUND RIGHT?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tasha,

      That sounds right. It can take two weeks to sixty days or longer to have payment started after the medical approval has been made.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  144. Scott says:

    I just had a CE one month ago for my SSDI and when I went to check my application status online it says ” We cannot process your request at this time”. I called the local office and they told me a decision has been made on my case on 2/28 but should could not tell me the results over the phone. Also I noticed online where I applied for Medicaid and food stamps, the Medicaid portion which was pending has vanished. I spoke to my lawyer and he said he hasn’t heard anything yet. What is your take on this, and what would you do next?.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Scott,

      I would wait to do anything until you get the letter that explains the medical decision on your claim or you are contacted by a Social Security representative of your local Social Security office. In approvals, sometimes there is more information to be given before payment can be set up. Medicaid, as far as it is related to Social Security Administration actions, is associated with a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, so perhaps you also applied for SSI and the Medicaid is no longer pending because the SSI decision has been made.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  145. Nya says:

    Hey me again also I was seeing my Primary Doctor for years with these symptoms while I was working …….just got to unbearable for me nowadays….I’m in my mid 40′s!!! Haven’t been able to work since 2005 and just decided to go ahead and file for SSD!! I’ve been working since I was a teenager!!

  146. Nya says:

    Hi Kay…..I applied for Social Security Disability in August of 2013…..did all my paper work and medical forms……The Representative has been really good about keeping in touch with me…I was unable to produce one of my Dr address or name seeing that it was back in 2005-2006 n I only seen him a couple of times. …I was told that it wasn’t a problem and that they probably would get back to me the following week to schedule an appointment with their Medical Examiner……I was contacted the following day however and was told that I would be receiving a letter in the mail and probably would have to go back into the Social Security Office. …What does this mean….??? First time applying and I’m suffering from depression, anxiety, hyperthyroidism, back pain, knee pain, neck pain

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nya,

      The fact that they said that you would probably have to go back into the Social Security office is an indication that you probably have been medically approved for benefits and need to provide some additional non-medical information. (Please note that I said “probably,” not certainly.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  147. Whitney N. says:

    I got a letter to come in to give bank info for where they can deposit my ssi but no approval letter. Is this my approval?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Whitney,

      Approval letters for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are not sent until all work on the claim is completed. Usually, bank information is not requested until a claim has been approved medically; however, occasionally it will be obtained before that time. When you go to the office, you will be able to clarify the status of your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  148. Sue says:

    I have been declared disabled by the DDS but I returned to work prior to this. I struggle daily at work with my conditions. Can I just quit my job and receive these benefits ? I don’t want to do something illegal.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sue,

      Please provide the date you first stopped work and the date you returned to work so that I can provide some information about how your situation relates to Social Security law.

      Thanks,

      Kay

  149. dee says:

    Hi I have apply for ssi for my son on november 12 2013 and I haven’t gone any reapponse he is adhd n they have him on meds is it possible they get him approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      Some children who have ADHD are disabled and receive SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration will review your son’s medical records and any other documentation of his limitations that your provide to determine whether his ADHD symptoms are severe enough to disable him. If so, he will be approved for benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  150. Krystel says:

    Dear Kay,
    I recently applied for disability with Binder and Binder in Nov 2013, and called the Social Security office today to check the status of my claim. I was told that a decision was made on Feb 11th but I have not received anything, I told the representative this and she said that nothing had been mailed out yet because they were still working on a lot of things in regard to my case. What does that mean? I really wish they would just tell you over the phone instead of being vague… Praying that they approved me <3

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Krystel,

      Frequently Social Security representatives will not give any specific information about decisions until all work is done on a claim. What you were told means that a medical decision has been made; beyond that, it is hard to say.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  151. quaneshia says:

    Thanks for the response Kay I really appericate it and its a good feeling to get a professional answer my questions accurately also I would like to know what do you think about my sons claim I filed for ssi for him a year ago for adhd he was denied 3 times now I got a lawyer and were waiting for a hearing well 2 weeks ago I received a letter from the hearing department stating they were reviewing the claim to see if they could make a favorable decision without going before the judge I do not understand the letter at all I called my lawyer and they said the letter just ment im still waiting for a court date from them and that didn’t sit right with me and I called social security and the said his claim was processing can you please shed some light on the situation?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Quaneshia,

      Sometimes a judge will review a claim file and the written argument that the attorney presents and decide to approve a claim without holding a hearing. It sounds as if this pre-hearing review is in progress. If the judge does not find grounds to approve the claim on the written record only, then a hearing will be held at which the judge can gather more information to make a decision. “Processing” is too general a term for me to know what it might mean. You will need to ask Social Security what was meant, specifically whether the claim is still in the hearings office and if not when the decision letter was sent.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  152. quaneshia says:

    received a letter from social security stating we need to talk to you about thie final process of the supplement income disability claim in which you filed. it is imperative that we complete this process immediately. if we do not hear from you it could possibly cause a delay in benefits denial od Medicaid and or claim denial due to failure to respond. when you come to the appointment bring this letter with you provide beginning march 2013 to present all documents valid photo id verification of all wages verication of all bank statements verifications of living arrangements must provide ssn of all other children in the household if you are the parent *you will need to set up dd for reqular monthly ssi benefits does that mean im approved???

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Quaneshia,

      Yes, the request for all your financial and household information indicates that you have been medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments and that your claim is being updated for financial eligibility since your application date.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  153. Heather says:

    Hello,

    I just applied for ssdi this past week. I have a few problems with depression, anxiety and paranoia. I also was diagnosed with migraines in 2013 and have attentional issues. I have been out of work since sept 2012 until recently when I tried to go back to work and failed miserably. I was terminated on both occassions although I was eligible for unemployment. My unemployment has run out and I can’t find a job I can do anymore based on my experience and skill set. I applied online for ssdi and was called the next day by the local office. She interviewed me and said I did good with my responses and said I would be getting a request for a birth certificate. She seemed to already know quite a lot about me. I havent seen a psychiatrist in years but family doc prescribes wellbutrin and abilify. How does my claim look to you? Btw my brother was recently approved for ssdi for a variety of issues does this help me?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Heather,

      Your brother’s eligibility for Social Security Disability (SSD) is unrelated to your claim.

      Your sense that the interviewer “knew a lot about” you, is likely your perceiving her experience in interviewing people with health issues and her acquaintance with many different medical conditions. You will not know whether your claim will be approved until it has been reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS), which the Social Security Administration contracts to determine whether your conditions disable you accordingly to Social Security law.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  154. Rick Hamblin says:

    Hello,

    I have documented Disability dating back to April 2011 and a Judge finally ruled approval on my claim on Sept 2013. It is going on 5 months since the approval, I called and they said they needed to change my address and that takes another 3 weeks and to call back then. I was wondering why my address is the reason why I am still not receiving benefits? Should I be making more phone calls, because it seems that I am being impatient to them when I call and I am wasting their time? I knew it would take a long time to receive benefits, especially the approval phase, but 5 months after approval just seems a bit over the top!

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rick,

      You have been waiting a long time for benefits to start after the approval. I don’t know why they would ask you to call back in three weeks, if the change of address is all that is needed to get payment started. If you have not received payment in three weeks, I suggest that you visit the office in person if possible and ask to see a supervisor.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  155. ella says:

    Hi Kay, I was recently approved for SSDI on 2/6. I rcvd my one time payment for SSI for only %160, and per my field office, that is all I am entitled due to me getting unemployment each week. I am awarded SSDI retropay as I was found disbabled may 2013. So it should be about $2700-the SSI I got. I get my monthly payment on 3/3/2014, however when can I expect my retropay? I have direct deposit, no lawyer, and to my knowledge, no offsets? Thank you in advance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ella,

      It is taking about six weeks or more after the first monthly check for back pay to arrive.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  156. Thanks Kay I always get papers from Reg mail from SSD, I was kind of surprised to get something cerified from them. Just hope it good news!

  157. justasking says:

    Hey kay,
    Sorry to ask again, however is it true approval are quicker to receive over a denial letter? In your opinion? How long to get out of editing? Is the judge decisions the biggest chunk of time. Sorry to ask having SEVERE panic attacks waiting and i thank you for your opinion & time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kelly,

      I do not know of any statistics that have been gathered regarding the relationship between the outcome of an appeal and how long it takes the judge to make the decision. My observation is that it takes much longer for the judge to make the decision and provide the key information needed to have the letter prepared than it takes for the letter preparation itself.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  158. Tino says:

    Dear Ms. Kay, First let me say you do a great help to many taking special time out of your busy day trying your best to help others, Your site is #1 the best informative I have seen, I want to thank you in advance for your reply to my question please. Regarding the onset date? I was denied ssdi being self employed most my life not paying in enough credits over the years, so my attorney filed for ssi + DWB disabled widow benefits since my marriage was over 10 years even though then divorced my ex-wife passed away 1/31/2008 at only 42 years old. Anyway, I am 54 now 55 in June my claim was filed 11/2013 and from doctor medical info attorney is using 6/2007 as Date of onset, however, one of my doctors used date of onset 10/2011 being since the 1st day he ever saw/treated me he could not date it farther back since he was not my doctor back then so they are waiting on previous doctors to send in info to confirm the earlier onset date. If i understand correctly they only allow back dated payments for a maximum of 12 months after the 5 month wait period… So my question is WHY is it so important for attorney wanting a 6/2007 onset date and delay waiting for previous doctor reply and WHY NOT just use current doctor onset date of 10/2011 since that date of 10/2011 more than covers the 5 month wait period plus still would gain the maximum 12 months in back payments. I don’t see the benefit or reason to wait/delay further for a further back onset date unless I am missing something as the reason or benefit. Thanks again you are the BEST, Tino….ps last week i went to the ss scheduled doctor appointments 1 for full physical plus 3ex-rays and 1 other the mental exam so I would hope they send final decision soon regarding both DWB/SSI, also, just curious, IF they use older onset date being well over 2 years ago would that automatic trigger medicare too or must i still wait 2 years for medicare and most likely start out with Medicaid?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tino,

      Thank you for your kind remarks.

      You are right that if your disability date were established as October 2011, you would get full retroactivity from a November 2013 application. Also, even if you did not become disabled until October 2011, your disability would have begun with seven years of your ex-wife’s date of death, which is a requirement to receive disabled surviving divorced spouse’s benefits. So, the only reason I can think of is that the information the doctor gave for October 2011 was insufficient to support disability on that date, so they requested earlier records for background. This theory is supported by the fact that they asked you to go to a consultative examination.

      With regard to health insurance, Medicare begins after twenty-four months of benefits including retroactive benefits, so you are right that best case scenario, your Medicare would begin November 2014. If you are eligible for ongoing Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in many states you will automatically be eligible for Medicaid as well. While you wait for processing of your claims, it might be wise to look into coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  159. justasking says:

    Hi i called the local social security odar office they told me in editing then the judge has to sign it then i should receive it . Same day called 800# no information ot decision has been made…. can they tell you on the phone if you are approved? Its been 26 days since hearing is this good sign for approval…

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kelly,

      If your hearing decision is still being written and the letter has not been finally approved, the judge’s decision–whether favorable or unfavorable–has not been finalized and your claim is correctly shown as pending in Social Security’s computer system. Even if the decision were complete and recorded in your Social Security’s computer record, the 800-number call center would not tell you the decision. Notification must be in writing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  160. Was turn down once for SSD, Then got a lawyer! Got a Cerified letter card in the mail today, wasn’t home at the time when mail came! Is it a good sign to get something cerified from SSD OFFICE?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Emilie,

      If the notice of certified mail is for correspondence from Social Security, it would indicate that they have been trying to reach you and have been unsuccessful. The certified correspondence would be their last effort. Be sure to pick up your mail on Monday and respond to the correspondence right away.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  161. Elaine says:

    Hi I filed for my son in November they have all the paperwork from the u of m and he just had a elevation on the 6 that they paid for does this mean he is closer to getting denied or approved

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elaine,

      The fact that your son has been sent to a consultative evaluation means that his claim is being actively reviewed, rather than waiting its turn, and that it is moving towards a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  162. Elaine says:

    Hi I filed for my son ssi in November and they just paid for him to have a speech elevation on the 6 of February does that mean is closer to getting approved or denied

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elaine,

      The request for an evaluation is an indication that your son’s claim is under active review, not just waiting its turn, and is moving toward a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  163. Haley says:

    I just applied for disability for my three year old for possible autism, scensory disorders and a speech inpediment.. we got an interview for later this month and was sent home from applying with some paperwork questioning my sons problems.. after I send that paperwork in the mail I received a paper saying to have my banking information ready for the interview..what does this mean? is he already approved before having an interview?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Haley,

      It seems that the Social Security Administration sometimes asks for bank information for direct deposit before approval and sometimes afterward. When did you complete the last of the paperwork? If it has been very recently, your son may not have been approved yet.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  164. Dana says:

    Hi, after being denied ssdi in late 2010 (SSA confirmed ptsd and other issues but felt i was still able to do minimal work due to education, age and experience as reason for denial); I’ve since reapplied in oct 2013 i have not been scheduled an appointment or requested to send additional information. I received a call from DDS in January She informed me that my file was transferred to her desk and she asked questions about a few of my disabilities. After answering the questions she stated my date of disability. Which is march 14, 2011, a date im not familiar with. She also asked questions sbout the clinics i was being treated at. I still have not been scheduled an appointment. Was the call from DDS a good sign of approval or just standard protocol?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dana,

      The call from the Disability Determination Services (DDS) was to get more information regarding your claim. I do not believe it can be a sign of whether your claim will be approved or not. DDS asks you to attend a consultative examination only if your medical records and statements from your medical providers are insufficient to make a decision. TI do not have enough information to comment on why she mentioned a date you do not recognize.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  165. JB says:

    Dear Kay:
    Thank-you for your answer 09/18/13. I am re-posting this because I posted earlier today on the Reply link under your name so don’t know if you received?

    Onset SSDI date 07/26/13; began SSDI app. 09/17/13 online, completed 10/03/13; provided SSA all required info. Have been following-up regularly w/ phone calls to SSA since filing w/ little info. provided by them. Made another call today (02/10/14) to DDS-GA who said “a decision was made by them on 02/06/14” but would not provide details & was told that letter would be coming from SSA office.

    I then called SSA office & was told “a decision was made 02/06/14 but they have up until 60-days from that date to take action or overturn.” I asked, “What does that mean? Was my case approved or denied & is the 60-days my time frame for filing reconsideration?” To which the woman said “No, it means just that.” Now I’m really confused!

    Upon further research, it sounds as if my case may have been sent to QA though no one @ SSA told me that. I called the attorney I have in case I am denied & he said it also sounds like possible QA. I know QA is supposed to be random to check SSA procedures used in decision but why would they send to QA if denied? Makes more sense if denied, to make me file reconsideration so…I’m still confused & will be calling DDS-GA office again tomorrow to get clarification. Are you aware of any similar experiences w/ SSA stating they have up until 60-days from their decision date to take action or overturn?

    Thanks – JB

  166. melissa says:

    I call that # but they don’t handle kids cases!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      In that case, I suggest that you research local attorneys looking at their advertisements in phone books and online. Look for attorneys who focus their practice on Social Security Disability. Then interview two or three to see who will take the case and who seems the best to you.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  167. Danyale says:

    Im confused okay I got an approval letter. Went to the office on 1/29/14 an submitted all the information that was needed . Fax over a unemployment benefit form Monday morning 2/3/14. Called my case worker an confermed that she has it ,So now tomorrow will be Monday 2/10/14 an my case is still open because she ( the case worker) has not submitted my paperwork. I already have a paycard. How long of a time frame do she have to complete my case. An she’s not returning my calls.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Danyale,

      It can take a few weeks for the information you provided to be processed and posted to your computer record to generate payment. The principle cause of having to wait a while for payments to start seems to be large workloads, which create backlogs.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Debra Murray says:

        Dear Kay,

        I applied for SS Disability 8/7/13. Due to numerous medical conditions; Hypothyroidism, sever sleep apnea, Chronic Migraine, Chronic Bronchitis, Depression, Insomnia, osteoarthritis, major memory and confusion issues, carpal tunnel ( already operated back in 1994), just to name a few and loss of my job in 2012 I applied. My Primary Doctor and Neurologist have completed all required forms as ds I. I had a physical by one of SS Doctors and x-rays of chest, knees an ankles.
        I had many unfavorable issues with my claims worker and after my physical with their Doctor I sent an email to the Governors Office advising of the problems I had with the case worker and the so called physical from their Doctor and the slum conditions of his office. I did receive a reply and they are investigating this.
        I am concerned that my complaint may have a negative effect or delay of my claim. Can they do this? I also feel that I should have heard something by now. How long can all this possibly take? I have no earned income and have closed out my so called nest egg. Are there any ways to get a case expedited? By the way I had worked for over 35 years and the benefits are there for me and I am eligible based on the SS annual statements.
        I look forward to hearing back from you.

        Thanks so much for your time.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Debra,

          I do not know what impact your complaint to the governor may have on your claim. In theory, it should not have any negative effect. You do not say how long ago you had the consultative examination requested by Social Security, but it can take a month or so after the examination to get a decision.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  168. melissa says:

    My son claim was denied do you know a lawyer that I can call to work on my case

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      When picking an attorney to represent a Social Security Disaiblity (SSD) or SSI disability claim, it is important to hire someone whose legal practice focuses largely on SSD and SSI claims.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  169. Laurie says:

    I wanted to say thank you for your advice, both to myself and others, it was kind of an odd support group and the information was helpful.

    My spouse was approved. We will be okay now. Thank you!

  170. Nick says:

    Hi Kay

    I hope you are doing fine. After a year of processing of my initial claim, DDS finished processing the medical portion of my claim. I found out on the status screen. I then went to the MYSSA webpage and all the inf. that was there before: estimated monthly disability amount, monthly retirement amount, and a link to apply for disability benefits, were there so I assumed that I was denied. I called the 800 number 01/28/2014 and the representative told me I would receive a letter by 02/07/2014. I told him I knew I was deny so I asked him why he could not verify that over the phone for me to just know. He said he couldn’t tell me and said to wait for the letter. Well yesterday I received a letter from Social Security in the mail and assumed it was the denial letter. It was not. The letter said to contact the local office where I applied before 02/10/2014. I called, no one answered and left a voicemail to get called back. Do you think they just want to deny me over the phone? I think it would be cruel to do that since other people I know have been denied through a letter. What do you think?

    Thanks,

    Nick

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nick,

      It appears your claim has been approved medically and your local office needs to update some non-medical information to finalize full approval of the claim. If you can’t get through to the local office by February 10, call the national call center at 1-800-772-1213, tell them about the letter, and ask that they contact the local office to set up an appointment for you. That way, there will be a record that you responded.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Nick says:

        Hi Kay

        Thanks for your prompt reply. Wow, so you think I’m approved, that’s great! Since Monday is the 10th, I am going to go personally to the office early in the morning, with the letter in hand, that way I will make sure I provide the information they need.

        Thanks Kay!

  171. Wanda says:

    I applied 4 ssi 4 my 12 year old daughter she is add, adhd,and got a learning disability & she is in special education class and she takes vyvanse 20 mg ,and risperidone 0.5 tabs she had an appointment 2 go 2 the doctor they have 2 go 2 but the man that was working on my class called me and told me dont worry about taking her because the info they got from the doctor and from the school was enough info 2 determine her case do that means she was approved are what

  172. loretta says:

    i called the local social security office today and was told no decision has been made yet and that i would recieve a letter about coming back into the office what does that mean? i had applied for SSI in October 2013 for my son who was diagnosed with ADHD,Depression,ODD, and Mood Disorder

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Loretta,

      Maybe the Social Security representative is trying to say that your son’s claim is pending a review of non-medical information and that you will get a letter regarding that. In the meantime you could call the Disability Determination Services (DDS) to see if they have made a decision. If they have, then your son’s claim has probably been medically approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  173. Amy Jones says:

    I have a questions that someone may or may not be able to answer I appiled for my 10 years SSI in Sept 23 of 2013 and we had the interview over then phone on Nov. 13 th 2013. I called today and was told that they made a descion on Jan. 31 2014 and that it has been scent back to the local SSA office and I should have a letter in 3 weeks. Does this mean that they have appovled her as this is the 4th time I have appiled for her and she has been deniced 3 times and this time they didn’t send her to there doctor or anything like that she is in CDC and the school scent her IEP and she has many other problems.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amy,

      I can’t say for sure, but if decision was a denial, I don’t think it would take three weeks for a letter. If you have not heard anything in three weeks, call the local office or the call center at 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment to provide information to get your daughter’s SSI payment started because the claim was probably approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  174. joyce says:

    What if you did not get letter from judge ?
    And it has been 2 month
    ssi tells you your paper are waiting to be signed

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joyce,

      You should receive a letter from the judge. Sometimes it takes longer than two months. If you have an attorney, see whether the attorney has received a copy of the decision letter. I can’t tell from you inquiry, what kind of papers you are referring to.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  175. G.p. says:

    I applied for ssi in sept. 2013 I’ve been working closely with my examiner. She closed my case and sent it to processing on jan. 14… How long does it take approximately once it’s sent in to hear something?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear G.P.,

      You should have either gotten a denial letter by now or a letter or phone call from your local office if you were medically approved. I suggest calling your local Social Security office and telling them that you see a medical decision was made on January 14 and you have not received a letter as yet. Ask whether the decision was a medical approval and, if so, whether you need to provide any non-medical information to get payment started.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  176. Robert says:

    I was wondering if you heard of a situation like mine about 3 weeks ago I received a denial letter for ssi, then last week I received a Medicaid card, now today I received a check. What do you make of this situation? any response would be appreciated, Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      First check to be sure that the denial letter is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security Disability (SSD). If it is an SSI denial, it would appear that wires are crossed somewhere. Before you cash the check, you need to talk with the claims representative who is handling your claim to be sure you are eligible. If he or she says you are, ask for a corrected approval letter as documentation.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  177. tish says:

    Hello Kay,
    I applied for ssdi may 2013, in august i had to fill out a packet. I mailed the packet back the naxt day. In December i was told i had to go to their doctor in January. It is now going into February and i have yetto hear aanything. I have been diagnosed by my doctor with 3 things then later another. I have ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar, and mood disorde. I contacted the guy who hhandling my case today and he said he has had my case for over a month but still hasn’t made a decision and yhat he will put my case as one of his top priorities due to me contacting so much. I was wondering is that a good thing? How much longwr will i have to wait? They have proof of everything they need. I have been told by other people that because its taking so long that i am more than likely to be approved and that they are trying to figure out payments and amount, is this common?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tish,

      From the information you have given me, I would say your claim is still undergoing medical review and no decision has been made about whether your are disabled. It appears say that your claim has not moved into payment calculation, which is done by your local Social Security office and/or the Social Security payment center, both of which are separate from the Disability Determination Services that decides medical eligibility.

      I don’t know how much longer you will wait for a decision, but it is encouraging that the examiner said he would prioritize your claim for completion.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  178. kathy says:

    Its been a few months and my husband is now at the last stage in finding out the answer if he gets S/S disability. He got a call saying he needs to come in at the end of the month and that he does not need to bring anything in (paper work etc…as the person said they have it all). Why would they call him??? Do they have him come in to tell him he got disability???? or do they always send a letter instead to let you know? the person never said “why” they wanted him to come in. Is that maybe a sign he may have it? Do they have people come to the SS office to tell them they qualified on occasion?? We found it odd. thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      If the Social Security Administration had asked him to come in and bring certain non-medical information, I would assume that he was approved. It is harder to say given that they are not asking for anything. Nonetheless, he could be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  179. Terry says:

    I applied for SSI through an advocy place. They said I was eligible for SSI and SSDI and applied for both. I’m 60 years old, have had one occupation (mechanic) for 30+ years, and have had one surgery for a pinched nerve where they did a discectomy (installed a brace and a piece of bone from my hip between the vertebrae). This was 3 years ago and caused my workplace of 15 years to let me go. Then and now I am self-employed as a mechanic and the same thing is happening again…..numb and tingling right arm, extreme pain in my right arm, unable to lift with same arm, rough manipulating with fingers on right arm. When it became apparent I went to my family Dr. of 20 years who advised me to see the neuro-surgeon I saw previously which I did. He suggested a CT-Mylogram to verify what he is almost sure is a deteriorated disc, only lower than the last time (probably between 4-5 this time versus between 3-4 last time). My quandry is I have not done that procedure as it is very costly and I really dont have the funds for it, although the advocsy place said it was not necessary at this time. I have made good money for over 30 years and put in plenty of SS tax funds during this time. I have already had my Dr. fill out the long RCF which he filled out very favorably. Does all this sound like something I should expect or could there be issues that might not work in my favor? Plus, do you think it wise to have the CT-Mylogram done now since I have already filed? Thanks

    • Terry says:

      Things forgotten…1 have been on pain pills, muscle relaxers, and anti-depressants for the last 3 years (since the initial surgery). In the RFC form I had my doctor fill out, he also stated that on my other hand I had a finger surgically removed long ago, so basically I am a mechanic without the use of both hands/arms. Of the 3 years of self-employment….first year, no income and no SS taxes paid, 2nd year $22K gross and SS taxes paid, last year, very negative income and I dont know if they will ask me to pay SS taxes or not because I have yet to do my 2013 taxes but basically my business is over due to this situation with my arm/nerve/neck issue. Lastly, my 24 year old disabled son is living with me. He gets SSI (I also have an issue with his SSI and Medicaid but that is another issue). If I havent heard most everyone is denied the first time, I would think I have an excellent case to go through the first time without a denial…but….

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Terry,

      Given your age, your work history, and your limitations as you describe them, I would say that you could be approved (though, of course, I cannot say for sure.) As far as the CT-Mylogram, I suggest talking with the doctor who completed the RCF and ask him or her whether your medical records support your symptoms and limitations without the CT-Mylogram.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  180. Melissa says:

    Good Afternoon Kay,

    I applied for SSD at the end of November 2013. I was informed to fill out a packet and send information pertaining to my sickness to entitle me to disability. I did this in January 2014. Then I was informed to bring in my 2012 tax return for self employment because they didn’t see anything in the system. I called the Social Security 800 number this morning. The customer Service Rep informed me that my case worker updated the notes with she has everything to forward my claim for final. The only thing left for my case worker to do is complete the final form which my case worker has to complete by February 1, 2014. Is this telling me that my claim will be approve? If not what is the next step. I live in South Carolina, Florence and the Customer Service Rep don’t show a board on file for review for my state.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      It does sound as if you have been approved. If you have not already submitted your 2012 self-employment tax return, it would be a good idea to do so quickly so that those earnings can be considered in the calculation of your benefit.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  181. Cheryl says:

    I just got off the phone with the worker that has been working on my husbands claim and was told that when I get the letter in to take it to the SSA office, does this mean he was approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cheryl,

      I understand from your comment that you have been talking to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) medical claims examiner. If that is so, I’d say, yes, your husband’s claim has been medically approved and that he will need to provide some additional information so that the review non-medical requirements for approval can be completed.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  182. Ben says:

    I received a denile first attempt march 4 2013 may 25 2012 was my start date I appealed they said the first decision was correct but they also said they had determined my condition is severe and results in a finding of disability however based on the evidence the earliest date established the onset of disability is january 23 2013 wich goes back to before my first denile wich meens part of my first denile should have meant I was disabled then because none of the current reports went back to that date so the old reports showed I was disabled before the denile then it does not say I was awarded any money just that I was disabled an that I am not entitled to any other benefits besides the ones I maybe already be getting I am getting no benefits nor have I ever I have not worked since april 5 2011 help please

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ben,

      I believe that the letter you received is telling you that your claim has been approved with a disability date of January 23, 2013. This would result in benefits beginning August 2013. You should receive a letter later that will list the amount that you are eligible to receive. It can take from a couple weeks to a couple months for your claim to be completed to payment.

      If you disagree with the January 2013 disability date, you have the right to appeal to receive benefits based on an earlier disability date. If you do, you need to explain why your earlier medical records support the earlier date. If you want to appeal, you have sixty days from the date on the letter to do so.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  183. melissa says:

    I called today they said I should be receiving a letter In the mall or a phone call what do that mean!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      The information you have provided is out of context so I can’t be sure, but it is possible that your claim has been approved medically and that the letters or phone call will ask you to provide additional information to determine non-medical factors of eligibility.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  184. Chameeka Grant says:

    i called the SSA and spoke with a lady about my claim she said through them it was approved but got sent out for review.Is it more than likely that i am still going to get approved..& the decison through SS was made jan 9 2014 so how long does the review take?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chameeka,

      It sounds as if your claim was randomly picked for a quality-control review. If the initial decision was correct and correctly arrived at, the quality review will uphold the decision and you will be approved. The review can take a month or two.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  185. Cindy Wright says:

    I applied for disability in june of 2012. I suffer from ptsd, back and leg pain, high blood pressure, anxiety issuses. I was denied the first time and filed for reconsideration. After being denied in the reconsideration stage I am now filing for a hearing. It is now January 2014 and still have not gotten a court date but I was asked to fill out a form to get a direct deposit card because I dont have a bank account. Does this mean I will finally be approved.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cindy,

      If you have not gotten an approval letter from a judge, you likely have not been approved. You can, however, contact the office that requested the information for the debit card and ask whether they have been notified of a hearing decision. If your claim is still pending, it may be a good idea to have an attorney present your case to the judge. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

  186. Larry says:

    My wife had her hearing back in November. She has Keratoconus an eye disease which has rendered her legally blind plus she has Diabetes and clinically diagnosed Depression. The just was ready to render a decision at the hearing but the lawyer forgot to request the mental dx documentation. Thd judge told him to submit it asap. It has been three months since then. My wife spoke to the administrative office this week and they told her that it was before the judge. Just wanted some clarity on where sbe is in the process.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Larry,

      If the attorney has already submitted the mental health documentation, then your wife is in the waiting process. She needs to be sure that the hearing office received the documentation. They should be able to tell you if evidence was received after the hearing date. If it has not been received, she needs to follow up with the attorney, perhaps picking up the documenttion and mailing it with delivery tracking to the hearing office.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  187. mel says:

    Is it true you get denied the first time applying

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mel,

      Some people are denied on first application and approved on first or second appeal. Others are approved on first application. It is important to provide all relevant information when applying the first time. You can get information on filing a Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application by reading the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab on DisabilityAdvisor.com. It could also be helpful to read the articles under the “Claims Process” tab.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  188. Betty says:

    Hello Kay,
    First, thank you for doing this site. It is extremely
    helpful. I am currently receiving presumptive
    ssi for spinal stenosis. Was told they had info
    enough on the medical but had me go for a
    psychiatric exam fordepression. Can you please
    give me your opinion if you think i will be
    finally approved?
    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Betty,

      I can not speculate whether you will be approved. You are receiving presumptive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because the information you gave the Social Security Administration was such that you met a list of medical conditions of such severity or findings that SSA law presumes you are disabled. However, it sounds as if when your claim got to the Disability Determination Services (DDS), which is the agency that investigates your claim and makes the medical decision, the medical information obtained from your medical providers did not support disability based on spinal stenosis alone and that your records contained some information about depression, about which they needed more information to see if you are disabled. Another possibility is that your records support approval based on your physical condition; but because your medical records include evidence of depression,they had to assess whether you are mentally capable of managing your benefits if approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  189. SNKELLY says:

    I stopped working 11/2008. I filled out my application for SSDI/SSI April 2009. I had a hearing in August 2011 and was denied two weeks later August 2011. My lawyer did an appeal in November 2011. The Appeals Council sent the information back to the Hearing Office. They said the first judge didn’t take new medical evidence that was given to him after my hearing into consideration. I was given notice for a second hearing and a request to see the SSA doctor and therapist. Both considered me disabled and unable to work. I had my second hearing on 11/2013 and the judge asked me a few questions and then the vocational expect answer some of the judge’s questions. My lawyer asked him if I was able to work and he said no. The judge then turned to my lawyer and said she has three different ONSET DATES. What’s her ONSET DATE? My lawyer said 11/2008. The judge said I need A REAL ONSET DATE. He told my lawyer he wanted my doctor to fill out a RFC form. So my doctor filled out the papers and put my ONSET DATE for 11/2009. I am waiting to hear back for the judge now.

    Do you think I have a chance to get approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mr. or Ms. Kelly,

      I would say that at the hearing the judge was planning to determine that you were medically disabled. He is likely to use the November 2009 date your doctor cited as your disability onset date.

      Regards,

      Kay

  190. John says:

    I contacted SS today to see if there was anything else they might need. I had applied in July and SS had set my disability date to January 31, 2013. I have gone to see a psycologist Jan 2nd and had not heard anything. The SS agent said that DDS finished the case yesturdy and a letter is on the way. The thing that concerned me was that the agent said DDS closed the case. Does this mean a denial.

    • John says:

      I just looked online at my application status and it now has changed from

      medical review in process as of today’s date, a decision has not been made on your application.

      to just saying

      as of today’s date, a decision has not been made on your application.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear John,

      DDS closing the case just means that they made the decision of whether or not you are disabled. If you have been medically approved, the local Social Security office and/or the payment center will have responsibility to determine your non-medical eligibility and calculate and set up payment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  191. Jeanette says:

    I applied for SSDI on October 1, 2013. I was called for a medical examination on January 15, 2014. At the close of the medical exam the doctor told me that, “I think that you will be very happy with the decision.” Yesterday, January 23, 2014, I called SS for a status on my claim. I was told that my claim had just been approved dated the 23rd, and appeared on his screen literally while we were speaking.

    I am certain that my question for you has been asked and answered a thousand times, but; How long do you think it might be before I receive payment?

    Thank you,

    Jeanette

    • Jeanette says:

      BTW, there are no non-medical issues to be resolved, and they have the direct deposit information and it is accurate.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Jeannette, I didn’t see your second post right away. If you really have no non-medical issues and applied only for Social Security (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also, then hopefully the shorter time frame will apply.

        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jeanette,

      Yes, the question has been asked many times. My observation is that it can take from two weeks to two months or more for processing depending on office workloads and the details of your claim. Ongoing payments usually start before back pay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  192. Cindy says:

    I have a friend that has been diagnosed with arterial heart disease. He is 50 years old and has a 100% blockage, 70% blockage, and a 50% blockage. The Dr is not recommending surgery. He believe the risk is too high and wants to go the medication route first. He has not worked since June 2012 when he was diagnosed. He filed back in May 2013 and all medical paperwork was in by June 2013. His local office did not turn it over to the determination board until November 2013 and no one will give him a straight answer. He leaves messages with no responses. What in the world could be going on. Every time he calls the 800 number the give a different response each time. Nothing useful or helpful. He has not received any correspondence from them. This is going on 9 months. What are his options?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cindy,

      Unfortunately, it appears that your friend’s claim slipped through the cracks and was not sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in a timely manner. It takes from two to five months to get a decision after the claim reaches DDS. A directory of your state’s government office should list the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation’s phone number. Once your friend gets the operator for that agency, he can ask for the number for the Disability Determination Services, which is typically part of Vocational Rehabilitation. He could try talking to the examiner to ask if there is any way his claim could be prioritized because it was delayed five months in getting to DDS.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  193. Christine says:

    I applied for ssi for me and my son 2 years ago and was denied. I had reapply in 10/2013, and so far I kept and went to their medical doctor that they had appointed me to. As for my son the ssi wants information from the teachers for 2 weeks now and his teachers are saying they are working on it. I don’t want to bug them about the issue but I remind them here and there (probably 3x’s now). Will it be a issue on my son’s decision on my sons case? And on top of it off, I am 33 and my primary says I am disable since I was 31 due to an personal injury. My injury was to my right foot where I really have no balance and 24 hour pain. Will either of us able to get approved? Or is hiring a lawyer better?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christine,

      I suggest that you keep in touch with the claims examiner at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) and let the examiner know that the teachers say that they are working on the reports. I also suggest that you tell your son’s teachers that his claim could be denied if DDS does not have a report from them. Ask if they can work it into their schedules to get it to you by the 15th of February.
      Also, if DDS said what they need to address in the report, be sure that the teachers know what to address.

      I cannot predict whether you or your son will be approved for benefits. You mention that your physician believes you are disabled. A statement from him explaining why he thinks you are disabled (unable to do any kind of work on an ongoing predictable basis) could be very helpful. If you are denied and disagree with the reasons for the denial, I suggest that you appeal with the assistance of an attorney.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  194. PRECIOUS says:

    I applied for SSDI and SSI I received my approval letter that says I was approved for both my questions what is the next step. I also received a letter stating that I have to have a phone interview to see if I am approved for SSI. Is this normal?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Precious,

      What you describe sounds routine. Once you have been approved medically, the Social Security Administration has to review your financial situation for the period of time since you first applied to see if you qualify for Supplemental Security Income in all months since your application and ongoing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  195. anthony says:

    You seem very informative and quick to anwser peoples questions, thank you very much for helping everyone out.

    I filed in September with an attorney, had an psyc assessment on 12/30/2013 and then just today I got a phone call instructing me to go to any social security office asap in order to update my application.

    What does this mean? The caller left no name, no number, and I havent received any other correspondence from SS. In addition, the caller didnt instruct me as to what information needed updating or what to bring.

    Typically what is this type of phone call indicative of in the stage I am at?

    Thank you,
    Anthony

  196. Muhammad says:

    Hi, my dad has severe arthritis throughout his whole body and he works in a factory as a knitter fixer. He has to pick fix various machines and when he was young he used to pick a lot of weights for his job which caused severe pain throughout his body. Everyday he comes home and is in lots of pain-especially his hands. His meds don’t work much and I’m always massaging his fingers and back but it doesn’t help much either. He only gets a few dollars per hour for a family of six. I worry about him and he’s starting to say he can’t do this anymore but does it to feed the family. So I have a few questions, can he apply for disability, when will he get a reply, can he still work while he applied and is waiting for a reply, what will be the chances he will get approved, how does this all exactly work. I know this is a lot but I’m young and my dad doesn’t know much english so I don’t know much about this-I just need some way to help my dad.
    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Muhammad,

      In order to apply for Social Security Disability (SSD), your father will have to either stop working or reduce his earnings to less than $1,070 monthly. See the articles under the “Apply” tab of DisabilityAdvisor.com that explain how to apply. It typically takes two to four months to receive a decision. If your father is approved, he will begin to receive benefits about seven months after he ceases work. This is true because the first five, full calendar months of disability are not paid and benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they are due. For example, if your father stopped work on February 16, 2014 and was approved for that date of disability, his first benefit check would be for August 2014 and would be paid in September.

      It might be helpful to check with the department of social services in your state to see whether your family could get cash or other assistance while he waits for a decision andfor payment to start if he is approved. You might seek assistance by applying for food stamps, free school lunches, and/or energy assistance. Local non-profits and some power companies have assistance programs to help with your heating bills. Your phone company may have special rates for disabled individuals.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  197. Sandi says:

    I all pied for my 9 year olds disability in November 2013. He has high functioning autism, a speech problem, a disorder of written expression, and dyslexia. He takes speech in school but the school stated they don’t have an evaluation that is current on him. We have to go see a speech pathologist to so a test this month. The case worker on my case states that they need this to finish my claim. What should I prepare my autistic child for during this test or should I just let him not speak because he won’t speak if he doesn’t know them. Will this test determine if he gets disability? Shouldn’t the autism qualify him along with the other disorders? Please advise I’m so frustrated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandi,

      I would just tell your son that you are taking him to a doctor to get some information about his health. Otherwise, I would let him act as he would in any other situation. It will allow the examiner to see your son’s limited ability to interact. If you are allowed to be present and the examiner asks you questions or asks you to intervene in some way with your son, then by all means be cooperative and do what is asked.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  198. Damien M Duty says:

    I have been fighting disabiilty for a while since an onset of chronic pain, fibromyagia, anxiety, depression and nuerological symptoms. I have been denied twice, but went through a hearling in October. I had a lawyer, but they called me 4 weeks before my hearing and dumped me, because the judge on my case had a 20% aproval rate, they said I would not win. Its now January and I just found out they are “sending out for approval or denial” About how long now must I wait.. My wife and I just had a baby, and we are being forced to move out of our home and really need this back pay/disability pay to get our lives back on track from all the doctors visits, etc. I cannot work, I have over 200 pages of medical records, 4 doctors notes using the words “disabled” Unable to work in any sustained employment etc. Are my chances good? Im very nervous I might be denied, as this would screw me and my family over very bad.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Damien,

      I am not able to predict whether your claim will be approved. Also, I am not certain what “sending out for approval or denial” means. The judge who heard your case in court makes the decision. I suggest that you call the office that told you your claim was being sent out for approval or denial and ask them to explain what it means.

      If you are approved, after you receive the approval letter from the judge, it can take up to sixty days to be paid. If you are approved, it is important to let Social Security know that your attorney abandoned your case before the hearing so that they do not pay him an attorney’s fee from your retroactive pay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Damien M Duty says:

        Thank you for getting back with me. I spoke with the ODAR office and they were the ones who told me, they said it meant that the judge has made a decision, but has sent it out for a second look/approval. I am hoping thats a good thing. not a bad thing. Ty for letting me know that can happen with the attorney I will make sure to let them know but I am failrly certain since I had my hearing without one they would have noted that on my file.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Damien,

          The additional information from the hearings office confirms that your hearing decision is undergoing random quality review by the Appeals Council.

          Even though Social Security knows that your attorney did not show up for the hearing, I would still submit a written request before you back pay is released that the attorney not be paid the full amount because he declined to appear at the hearing. It is easy to have the right decision made than to get a change later.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  199. Loretta says:

    Hello Kay, I forgot to add something in the evaluation that the school did for my son it states that a he has a mental or physical impairment that limits one or more major life activities. My son was diagnosed with adhd,depression,mood disorder, and oppositional defiance disorder. My son is taking ritalin twice a day. I’m really hoping that he gets approved for ssi. The adjudicator handling his claim said the only thing holding up the case was the evaluation report from the school. By the way thanks for responding to my last message.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Loretta,

      It sounds as if the report from the school will be strong support for the approval of your son’s claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  200. candace says:

    I was approved for both and then sent out me a direct express card on Jan 9 and as of today I haven’t received it I call and they say they going back to July 2012 and was processing my back pay but I owe student loans in default will they take my backpay and will my backpay be on my card cause I want get my first payment monthly until February 1 630. And say I get 502 on the fourth week of February. That’s a total of 1100 in a month why is that please answer for me

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candace,

      You raise multiple questions. First, it is likely that your Social Security Disability (SSD) back pay will be withheld for student loan repayment. I do not believe that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay, if any, will be withheld.

      You are right to question the amount of your combined SSD and SSI payments because the maximum payable between the two for any month is $741.00. Therefore, your SSI payment appears to be too high, unless it is including your SSI back pay. If you have a letter explaining the payment, I suggest reviewing it carefully for an explanation. If there is none or you haven’t received an SSI letter, I suggest that you contact Social Security for an explanation and confirmation that the payments are correct before you use the SSI payment.

      With regard to timing of ongoing payments, SSI is always paid on the first of the month. SSD is paid on the first, second, third or fourth Wednesday of the month. The Wednesday you receive your SSD benefits depends on when in the month your birthday falls. For example, a person born on early in the month will receive benefits on the first Wednesday, while someone born late in the month will receive benefits on the fourth Wednesday.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  201. Lori says:

    Just received my letter stating I am fully favorable. No amount was put on this letter. Will I get another letter stating the amount and when I get it?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lori,

      Yes, you will receive an award letter that shows the amounts and dates payable; however, the first payment is often received before the letter. If your claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security Administration will need updated financial information before releasing payment. If they have not contacted you within about ten days, I suggest calling the local office or the call center at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment to provide any additional information needed to start payment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  202. Andrew says:

    hi i applied for ssi i have a mental disorder scitso i been marked 5150 on paper and medicaction i wentt to apply them they called me and said they sending a second examination in mail and a solcial worker been coming to my house does that mean im approved

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Andrew,

      It sounds as if your claim is being reviewed, not necessarily that an approval decision has been made. Be sure to provide everything requested for your claim and attend requested examinations.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  203. Kristi says:

    Hello. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I had my hearing on 11/14/13 and I was approved. Its been months now and it just occurred to me that I didn’t put any banking information on my initial application. Now im wondering if this is going to hold up my payments or should I call someone about rhis. Actually, I think I’ll need the Direct Express card because I don’t have a bank account. Do they load all your back pay onto the card too? Ive been waiting over 3 years for this and I want to do anything I can to not delay it any longer. Thank you so much!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kristi,

      If you have received the judge’s decision in writing, then contact your local Social Security office to be sure that they do not have a closed bank account in their records and to request a DirectExpress card. If you have not received a letter from the judge, I suggest waiting until about five days after you get the letter so that the approval of your hearing will have reached the office.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  204. Crystal says:

    Hi my name is Crystal, and I sign my son up for ssi for a learning disabilty. I sign him up on Septenber 25, 2013. I call today to check the status and they told me that they still have not mad a decision and that they had till January 30.2014. So I was fin to get off the phone, and I told the woman thank you. And she told me to hold on, and than she ask me did I go sign up to be his payee, I said no not yet, I was just waiting to receive something from yall. she said she think that I need to go up there as soon as possible and get that done, so she gave me an appointment for January 24, 2014. Can that be a sign that he may get his ssi, I did not ask that woman for none of that informatio, she stop me and gave it to me herself, and also told me if i dont do it now and than way, its a process and will take 30 days after i have done it so she think i need to do it now. He been in a leatnis disbilty class since he started school, now he also has hearchsprungdisease, I apply for him twice for that, and it never took this long. This time i apply for his learning disabilty. I never received no letters but one telling me who was working on his case, and that was it. What was the need of her stopping me to tell me and I did not ask. And what difference did it make if i waited to do it.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Crystal,

      Be sure to attend the appointment on January 24. Given that Social Security is asking you to apply to be payee for your son, his claim may have been medically approved, It sounds as if just at the end the telephone call, the representative looked more closely at the record and saw that a payee application was needed. Your learning just now that you needed to file a payee application may or may not have delayed the claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Crystal says:

        THIS MORNING I GET A CALL FROM THE HENDERSON NC OFFICE THAT I DONT HAVE TO COME FOR TJAT APPOINTMENT YET BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT EVEN MADE THE DECISION YET.NOW I CALL YESTERDAY AND WAS GOING TP CHANGE MY APPOINTMENT TO ANOTHER TIME HOWEVER THE MAN O TALK T9 YESTERDAY TOLD ME THAT MY SON WAS APPROVED YESTERDAY BUT TODAY SHE CALL ME AND SAID HE MAY HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT IT WRONG BECAUSE THEY STILL DID NPT MAKE A DECISION YET BUT THEIR TIME IS UP THE 25 PF JANUARY AND THEY SAY THEY THEY HAVE UP TP THE 30. I AM SO CONFUSED. CAN YOU HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Crystal,

          Apparently, your son’s case has not been decided and someone read the computer coding wrong and said your son’s claim was approved when it had just passed the period of time that was a guideline for arriving at a decision. At that point the agency is basically telling you their next target date for completion, February 25 (30 days more). A decision may or may not be made by then.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  205. donald rowland says:

    Hello kay I have a question. I applied for ssi and ssdi in october of 2011 and have been denied 2xs. I have had my hearing with the judge in sept 2013at which time he scheduled me an appointment for their doctor which was in oct 2013. I have yet to hear about a decision. Is this normal. Everytime I call social security they tell me the judge has so long to make a desicion but now they tell me it is with the writing department. What is your recommendation?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donald,

      Your claim’s being in the writing department means that the judge has made a decision and the decision is being written up. You should have a letter within a month.

      Regards,

      Kay

  206. Rob says:

    will my SSDI revert to regular social security when I turn 62?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSD) will revert to regular Social Security Retirement (SSR) when you reach your Social Security Normal Retirement Age (SSNR). Your SSNR is based on your year of birth. For example, SSNR for someone born in 1943 is age sixty-six. You can find out your SSNRA on the website http://www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  207. Rob says:

    I had a hearing yesterday and im in the state of Florida I’m wondering how long it takes to receive a decision? I am a veteran rated at 80 percent and deemed total and permanent disability by the VA. Do you think that the total and permanent by the VA would be enough to be approved for SSDI I am just shy of 55 years oldand am having both hips replaced in the near future and also need knee surgery

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rob,

      The Veteran’s Administation (VA) and the Social Security Administration evaluate claims based on different laws with different definitions of disability. Therefore, being approved for VA benefits does not necessarily mean you will be approved for Social Security. Because you are over age fifty, you will be approved if your limitations prevent you from performing occupations you have done in the past and those limitations have lasted or are expected to last twelve months.

      The guideline for delivery of hearing decisions is sixty days; however, some take longer. If approved, it can be another couple months before you receive payment.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  208. Donna says:

    Hi Kay,
    My brother is 57 years old and applied for disability in October. He called yesterday and was told that his claim was in the DDS with a target date of January 30, and that he should expect a letter by then.

    I have been reading about determination process and am nervous because he was never asked to see a doctor. He does not currently have health insurance so has been avoiding doctor visits. He had not been to a doctor’s office in almost a year at the time of his claim and I had read that he would be most likely be asked to appear for an exam if he had not been to a doctor in 90 days preceding claim.

    He has quite a list of conditions, including arrhythmia, arthritis, sleep apnea, gout, degenerative disc, diverticulitis, shingles, can’t even remember them all, plus depression. He has already been out of work for over two years but had been living off his 401K money which has recently run out.

    I have been on pins and needles about his application because he has no options at this point and on verge of homelessness. I know it should only be a few more weeks but I am obsessing over this concern about not being asked to do an exam. He did provide quite a lot of medical records with his application.

    He is a high school graduate and worked as a mail handler.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Donna

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      Social Security pays for independent medical examinations only if they have to, that is, in situations where there is insufficient information to make a decision. Given your husband’s age, multiple conditions, and the work history you listed and the fact that he submitted a lot of medical records, it is possible that he could be approved. Perhaps his records show that he was being continued on same medications or some other important detail. Of course, there is no guarantee.

      If he is denied, he needs to appeal the decision within sixty days. To support his claim he needs to see a physician (somehow get the money) to get a thorough updated medical examination. It is likely he will need legal representation for the appeal. He does not have to pay any legal fees up front and he will pay attorney fees only if he is approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount his attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from his retroactive award at the time they send his back pay to him. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Next, if your brother is in arrears on his rent or mortage, I suggest that he open communication with his landlord or mortgage holder and tell them that he is close to getting a decsiion on his claim and ask them to hold off on any eviction or foreclosure proceeding. He might also contact social service agencies to see if they can help with some or all of the back rent/mortgage in bridge assistance. If the agencies he contacts can’t help, I suggest that he ask for a list of other possible agencies that might be able to. He might also seek energy assistance for help with the power bill if he has gotten a shut off notice or warning.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  209. Loretta Root says:

    Hello,I applied for SSI for my 12 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD,Depression, and ODD in September 2013. My son is seeing a therapist once a week and is taking ritalin twice a day. I just had a meeting at school because they did an evaluation and he will now have a 504 plan. I have spoken to the adjudicator handling his case and she said the only thing she was missing was the evaluation report from school. Does my son have a good chance of getting approved for SSI benefits? I applied In October of 2013.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Loretta,

      I am not able to predict whether your son will qualify for benefits, but it is good that the school did the evaluation and that the examiner has requested it. It also sounds as if a decision will be made not too long after the evaluation is received.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      • Loretta says:

        Hello, thanks for responding i also forgot to mention that in my son’s evaluation report from school it says how his IQ score fell within the low average range at th 18th percentile when compared to same age peers. It also states that he has a mental impairment that substantially limits one or major life activities. This is all due to him having adhd. My son is taking ritalin and sees a therapist once a week and a psychiatrist once a month. The adjudicator handling his claim called me today to tell me she finally received the report from the school so hopefully soon a decision will be made.

  210. alyssa858 says:

    Hi

    I had apply for disability since July 27, 201. Today is Jan 14,2014 and I havent heard anything. Online status said decision have not been made.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alyssa,

      Your claim has been pending longer than the norm, especially since you have not been asked to provide anything. I suggest that you ask your local Social Security office to contact the Disability Determination Services (DDS) to be sure that they have it in queque for processing. Very occasionally a claim doesn’t get sent to, or correctly set up at, DDS. Also ask for the DDS number so you can find out if the examiner is waiting on something requested from your doctors. If so, contact your doctors to get the requested information sent.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  211. Antoine says:

    Last question just talked to ssi and they said that my claim is being processed and i should hear something by April 9 if I dont hear anything by April 9 then call back do this sound like im gone get approve

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Antoine,

      If a decision has in fact been made on your claim, as the online record shows, then either you have been approved and the local office is far behind in processing approvals or a decision has been made on your claim (approval or denial) and the claim has been randomly selected for qaultiy review. If the decision on your original claim were a denial and final, you would get a letter in a couple weeks after the decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  212. Alice says:

    I applied for disability 4 months ago. I am blind in left eye, have n depth perception or peripheral vision which impairs my driving ability. My license is restricted t daylight driving only. I also have depression, anxiety and PTSD. What do you think my chances are and is it a good sign that it takes longer the first time before you hear anything.

    • Alice says:

      I forgot to tell you I am 57 years old.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Alice,

        Please see my reply of earlier today.

        Given that you are over age fifty, you only have to be disabled from occupations that you have performed in the past.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

        • Alice says:

          I was denied the first time and know waiting for word from my appeal. I do have a lawyer. My psychiatrist says I should have received disability first time due to all my mental issues. bipolar, anxiety,depression, PTDS, and panic attacks. What are my chances for 2nd time around. Also I went to social security and ask if I could apply for ssi benefits and they told I could not get ssi due to awaiting an the appeal

          I have zero income, I do get food stamps but who can I go to for financial help to pay for my rent, lights,ect.

          Thanks for any info you can give me.

          Alice

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Alice,

            Your attorney has expressed the opinion that your claim can be approved; until you know for sure, I would go with his opinion.

            Some states provide temporary cash assistance to disabled individuals who have applied for federal disability benefits. I suggest checking with your state or county health and human services. If your state doesn’t offer benefits, ask whether they know of agencies who provide temporary help with rent or utilities. You might also tell your landlord that you have a disability appeal pending and the attorney thinks you will be approved. That might buy you some time on past due rent.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alice,

      Being unable to drive is only a disabling limitation if driving is a duty of an occupation you have done in the past or could otherwise do in the future. However, your eyesight limitations may keep you from being able to perform all the job duties of any occupation for which your are suited given your education and work experience even if they do not require writing; or your eyesight together with your mental health conditions may prevent it. Whether or not you are approved will depend on your work history, the severity of your conditions, and your remaining capabilities.

      Best regards,

      Kay

      • Alice says:

        I was denied a second time. Next is a hearing before judge. What are approval rates at this level. I need help 0 income. Turn down for ssi and medicaid. Iam point of homelessness. Where else can i go.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Alice,

          Most claims that are approved on appeal are approved at the hearing level of appeal. While you are waiting for a hearing date, you might try contacting your state’s or county’s department of health and human services to see whether the community has any resources that can help you.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  213. Antoine says:

    I applied for ssi in beginning of Dec 2013 I logged on and it says they made a decision which I cant see it only say I will receive a letter in mail I havent got anything in the mail any signs

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Antoine,

      If it has been more than a week since the date of the decision, try contacting your local Social Security office and ask if any non-medical information is needed to complete work on your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Antoine says:

        They telling me they cant tell me hothing I will recieve a letter

      • Antoine says:

        I hope I been approved I received a summary of all my information in mail for ssi but still have got my decision in the mail but online its telling me a decision has been made its been 1 week 2 day now…

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Antoine,

          You should receive either a letter with a decision or a call asking for updated information. If you have not received a letter within another week, I suggest calling and asking for an appointment to provide final information needed for your SSI claim.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  214. melissa says:

    Call to check on my claim they said it was still pending what do that mean and how long will i have to wait to hear something about my case!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      “Pending” means that either decision has been made on your claim. Either it is under active review, waiting for outside documentation that has been requested from your doctors, or is waiting its turn in line to be reviewed. New claims typically take two to five months for a decision, sometimes more.

      Regards,

      Kay

  215. Tina says:

    Also Kay, I have been taken off work by my Dr. for my wrists and hands. Bilateral wrists decreased range of motion flexion approximately 40 degrees, extension approximately 30 degrees. What does that mean? Thank you Kay!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tina,

      Please see my reply of a few minutes ago to your earlier posting.

      Decreased range of flexion mean you have limited range in which you can bend your wrists forward.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  216. Tina says:

    Hi Kay,

    I have recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, depression, high blood pressure, and I have RA which is currently in remission and x-ray images revealed Patient has evidence of chronic wrist joint space narrowing and degenerative changes, Degenerative changes at
    bilateral radiocarpal joints. Right scapholunate disassociation with
    distal radius extending into the scapholunate space. Apparent
    ankylosis between the left distal radius and lunate. There are secondary osteoarthritis at the distal radioulnar joints
    and the radiocarpal joints bilaterally. There are partial collapse of
    the scaphoids and lunates with proximal migration of the capitates
    bilaterally. I know some of this information is in the blue book for disability but wanted to know if you can let me know if I might qualify based on the above information.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tina,

      To meet the listings in the “Blue Book” and be found disabled based simply on meeting the listings, your diagnosis must be accompanied by certain findings that are also specified in the listings. If you do not meet the listings, your limitations will be compared to the requirements of certain occupations. Whether or not you are approved will depend on whether your medical conditions limit you from working in occupations you have performed in the past and, if you are under age fifty, all other occupations you could perform given your education and experience. To be eligible, your disability also has to have lasted or be expected to last twelve months or more.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  217. Laurie says:

    Okay. Another question. Spouse went through Psyche exam in November (seemed to go well… she is slow and has multiple OCD issues). Supposed to see Neurologist just before Thanksgiving but Neuro office cancelled it. Rescheduled for end of December. Just before appt the Examiner called my spouse (she’s a nice, very busy lady) to be sure she was going (we’d already sent back the letter saying we’d be there two weeks before). Of course spouse said yes and we went right on time. That seem to go well too (sadly spouse is having a lot of trouble on left side during neuro exam). That was Dec 30th.

    We are on pins and needles… was it a good sign the examiner called to remind? She hadn’t before. That was about a month after Psyche exam (now it’s approaching 6-7 weeks). Spouse said she sounded tired. We are hoping a favorable response is likely and hoped this was a sign she is just wrapping things up. Spouse is 56 and will be 57 this year.

    Do you think it’s a good sign? “I don’t know” is an okay answer. We’re just so nervous. Thank you for time and patience!

    Laurie

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Laurie,

      The examiner might have called to remind your spouse because a previous exam had been rescheduled.

      I don’t know whether your spouse will be approved or not. It sounds as if the examining doctors will note that she has some impairments. To be approved, those impairments have to be severe enough to keep your spouse from performing the occupations she has performed in the past.

      It may be a few weeks before you get a decision because the doctors’ reports have to be reviewed by the examiner and by a physician at the Disability Determination Services before the decision is written.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  218. Rafael Perez says:

    Hi,

    I applied for SSDI online, turned in all my paperwork, and just received an Social Security Income denial letter (can’t even apply for SSI online). Is it a mistake or do they just go through a process?

    Thanks for any help,

    Rafael

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rafael,

      If you have received a denial letter for your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim, it means that your claim was reviewed and a denial decision made. You have the right to appeal the SSDI denial, addressing the reasons you believe the decision is incorrect. You can also make an appointment to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) either in office or by telephone by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  219. hugh says:

    Hi.
    I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 2001 when I was 19. I’ve lived with it ever since. I have had SSI for around 6 years because of my disability… have been conserved and in and out of hospitals and treatment centers.
    I just applied for SSDI as an adult child with a disability.. my parents both retired.
    Am I automatically eligible for ssdi because I recieve ssi?
    One other note.. I’ve been getting my medication from my doctor doctor not my psychiatrist for the past 2 years… I take psych meds every day….
    I do work and make around 1000$ every month… I know that there is a limit of 1040$ for ssdi recipients… I was wondering if the 1000 + the ~400$ I get from ssi puts me over that limit. I work in a respite house that only hires people living with a mental illness… It’s the only type of job I can perform.
    Thanks for any response!.. Hugh

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Hugh,

      Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not count toward the substantial gainful activity limit of $1,040 in 2013 and $1,070 in 2014. Only gross work wages and net self-employment count.

      Your claim will have to be evaluated medically even though you are receiving SSI. Be sure to let the claim examiner know that you have a special work situation. It may be to your disadvantage that you are not seeing a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. You may be asked to undergo a mental health examination as part of your claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  220. georgia says:

    okay i applied for my son for ssi because of adhd. i received notification in the mail over the weekend saying that i need to make an account and call ssi with the information. well i went and had to retrieve a paper from ssi for the account they gave it to me. one of the ladies said that they would send me a check but then the other lady had said no that i will come back with the bank info so that in 3-5 days they would put payments in my account. then i called ssi yesterday and the lady said that the code in the computer is saying that payments will be going out.. i haveNOT recieved a for sure YES OR NO… but everyone is saying yes that i my son has been approved. i was wondering if i can get some kind of intel of as to what you all think.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Georgia,

      Although you have gotten two different statements regarding the method of delivery of benefits, everyone is saying that payments will be made, so it appears your son has been approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  221. Tiffany says:

    Dear Kay everytime I check on my status its says that they are checking on the medical part of my claimd do you know how long that will take to receive a letter in the mail? I was born hearing impaired and was receiving ssi when I was younger but they cut me off at the age of 18

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tiffany,

      It typically takes from two to five months to get a decision. If it has been longer than that, you might contact the Disability Determination Services and ask whether they need any information from you or your doctors.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  222. upsndowns says:

    BTW i worry a lot over things so i cant let this go witgout sone ease and even then i will still stress.

  223. Rick says:

    I applied for disability 17 months ago and still have not gotten a decision, They have only sent me for 1 test and I took it and the last letter I received from them was a reimbursement check for gas I used to go to the test and that’s been about 5 months ago,, every time I call my local office or the toll free number and when I get a live person they say decision is pending or no decision on claim made as of now.
    I thought it would take 3 to 5 months for a decision and if I’m approved the Rep at my local office said my back pay would start from Jan 2013, I wish they would make a decision so we could get the ball rolling.
    Has anyone else ever had to wait this long for a decision???

    And I would have loved to keep working at my job, the money was good for this area, I’m not one that just doesn’t want to work, I have tried it twice since my problems.

    My problems started in early 2012,
    I had a pretty bad heart attack in March of 2012 and had to have a triple bypass, My heart surgery was a great success and have had no problems with my heart except for a recent heart cath they wanted to do because they thought they were seeing more blockage,, Thank god the cath showed no more blockage, but I developed Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) ,,,,,blood restrictions in my blood vessels in my legs and before doctors found it ,The blockage caused severe nerve damage in my feet and legs and now I’m suffering with peripheral neuropathy. ( Nerve Damage in my feet and legs ) and have to take epidural nerve block injections in my back every month , not to mention all the pain pills I have to take just to get thru the day, now my pain doctor is talking about another surgery to implant a spinal cord stimulator in my hip with leads attached to my spine but my heart doctors want him to wait on doing the surgery, I also suffer from Anxiety , Severe Depression , Anxiety Attacks , Stress , I had a suicide attempt,, I Took 60 Xanax to end it all but they got to me in time to save my life, I was in a coma for 2 days but God wasn’t ready for me, and one of my hardest problems to deal with is Uncontrollable crying for no reason,, It can come on anytime, It’s so embarrassing because I have always been a strong man and now I feel so weak.
    I had to leave a $20 a hour job to zero income and it’s been pretty rough year and 10 months,, I had to sell most of my possession’s to get by, and endeded up Losing everything I had worked so hard for and now I live in a 24 foot camper with no water,sewer or electric ,, I would starve to death if it wasn’t for the food banks in my area and friends that have helped as much as they could. Oh and if your thinking I have a computer and internet,, I’m at the library where I spend a lot of days when it’s 7 to 9 degrees outside,,, trying to save my gas for heat at night until I can find some more stuff to fix and sell or recycle.
    And if anyone is thinking this,,,, I don’t do drugs or drink alcohol.

    Well, Thanks for letting me vent and get some stuff off my chest.
    Rick ( Ex-Harley riding biker now just a 55 year old whimpy-ass crybaby )

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rick,

      Seventeen months for a decision on an initial claim is far outside the norm. I wonder if it has fallen below the radar. I suggest calling the examiner who sent you the letter that requested you have the test done. When you speak with him or her, politely call his attention to the fact that your initial claim has been pending for seventeen months. Ask him to pull your file to see if anything else is needed from you or your doctors for him to complete the review and come to a decision. If he says no, ask when he can commit to doing the final review on your claim. If you do not get a decision within a month, I would call again and ask to speak to a supervisor.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  224. upsndowns says:

    I applied may 23,2013 and heard nothing until August they asked that i complete some big packet of papers. Then i heard nothing until December 2013, when they told me i had a mental health examination. I have been going to my own doctors for a year now. They have received my records but still sent me to their doctor. I have bipolar 1, ptsd, panic attacks ans ADD. I am now nervous since my appointment today. The man ask me to remember things that i couldn’t and about different presidents. I know it early but now i think i will be denied. I have been on probation at work because i have days when i cant get out th bed they cut my hours n i can barely buy a pack of cigarettes. Is this normal ? Will i more than likey get denied ? My stress level is higher than ever.

    • upsndowns says:

      Oh yeah the medical examiner told me i had ADD, this is something that my doctor tested for and said i did not have, so is that a good thinh that he the medical examiner diagnosed me with this ? Will this help my case in any way? Please someone help me come to ease.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Leticia,

      Social Security sent you to a physician to answer questions that were not answered in your medical records. Being sent to an examination is not an indication of whether you will be denied or denied. You mention working. It is important to let Social Security know that you are working, if you have not done so. There are limits to the amount of work earnings that you can have and still be considered disabled.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • upsndowns says:

        I was working full time but i have days that i just cant get out of bed of even shower (i know, i know) so my hours were dropped to part-time. I told the an everything and was very honest. Befire i left he said i had ADD, which is something that my doctor thought i might have but did nitccompletely rule in out out. I do have bipolar, PTSD, and mood disorder. Now A.D.D. has been added from the social security examiner. Is that a good thing or bad? How long should i wait before contactingthem ? I have a realky hard time with waiting and not knowing my fate…..which causes me to have panic aattacks when i get to worked up.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Leticia,

          ADD has to be extremely severe to be disabling. If your claim is approved, it will more likely be based on your mental illness diagnoses and the limitations that stem from them. I suggest waiting at least four week from the examination to follow up because it could take a couple weeks for the doctor to get his report to the claims examiner.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  225. candace says:

    I left out some things first off I applied for disability can’t remember which one but I have worked for years at a time but I have a mental disorder. That requirses me to take a lot of meds bipolar. Disorder severe. Anxiety. Borderline personality. Depression. And alot more in and put of mental hospitals and have tried subsided I applied in august of 2013 and in Dec I received letters to ho to Dr appointment. Then days layer they sent letters saying they were canceled. I call as and asked why they canceled. And was told they have made my decision I guess through my mental records and said I get a letter n the mail in two weeks but the only mail I got was the needed my banks and savings accounts and more information but I have nothing. No money and later I got a letter. Saying my child can reecive befits from if I file a application does this mean I’m approve

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candace,

      Please see my reply of a few minutes ago.

      With regard to the additional information in your current comment, the first letter asking for financial information may have been to determine your financial eligibility for Supplemental Security Income. It would appear that final work is being done on both your Social Security (SSD) and SSI claims, which appear to have been medically approved. Be sure to respond promptly to everything they request.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  226. candace says:

    I fill for disability. And I receive a letter saying my child maybe eligible. For benefits on my record does that means I’m approved

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candace,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      Yes, if you applied for Social Security Disability and you are being asked to complete paperwork for your child to receive dependents benefits, it does mean you have been approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  227. nikki says:

    HI MRS.KAY I’VE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR BACK AND HAVEN’T GOTTEN A RESPONSE MY SON SUFFERS FRM SEIZURES AND I DNT KNW WHAT TO DI CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME? I NEED A CLAIM CONFIRMATION NUMBER AS WELL.THANKS

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nikki,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved. I responded to you yesterday or the day before. When you file by mail, you do not get a confirmation number. You can check on the status of the claim by calling Social Security at 1=800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  228. Distraught says:

    I am 53 years old and have suffered for over 10 years with severe plantar fasciitis, anxiety, depression, and htn. I had surgery on my foot which made the pain worse from nerve damage. I was let go from my job two months after surgery. Tried finding another job for over a year before applying in September. Any opinion on my chances would be appreciated

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dee,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      Because you are over age fifty, if you are unable to perform occupations that you have performed in the past, then your claim likely will be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Distraught says:

        Thank you so much for the response. I received a letter from the DDS sending me to a physical and psychological exam on 2/12/14. The DDS office said it was to make my case stronger. I am very anxious and nervous about this. I know how I suffer just hope I can put it in to words. any advice please. I am a nervous wreck and cant sleep because of worry. My life has lost all quality and my family suffers also because of my pain.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Dee,

          I recommend that you answer honestly and as completely as possible any questions you are asked at the examinations.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Distraught says:

            I went to my psychological exam today and it was mentally exhausting. I cried through the whole thing(brought out issues)I could not remember the for words she asked me to. I feel so inadequate and don’t understand why I forgot. Will this hurt me? I am so anxious the waiting is hard on my emotions.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Dee,

            How you felt and how you functioned at the examination would appear to be manifestations of limitations related to your mental health. Showing these symptoms should not hurt your claim. If anything, it will help.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  229. Lydia NeShelle says:

    Hi Kay,
    My dad filed for SSD in late October 2013, he received a letter in early December saying he was approved for medical SSD & He would recieve back pay from April 2011.it also said they would send another letter explaining more. He received a lump sum in the bank on December 17. Its January 5 & he still hasn’t received the second letter. When will he receive monthly benefits? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lydia,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      The lump sum your father received was probably for months through November 2013. If that is the case, he should receive his December benefit in January, his January benefit in February, and so on. Social Security benefits are paid on the lst, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Wednesdays of the month. The Wednesday he receives his benefits depends on when in the month his birthday falls. For example, a person born on the 5th will receive benefits on the first Wednesday, while someone born on the 23rd will receive benefits on the 4th Wednesday.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  230. David Stallings says:

    In 2010 i got stage 4 cancer on my tongue and lymphnodes in the left side of my neck. They replaced my tongue with some thigh muscle. I had 4 or 5 surgeries total. I was approved for disability over the internet on the first try.

    I am being reviewed now and have to go see a ssi doctor. I am on Morphine and oxycodone and about 12 other meds. I have pain from the prior surgeries along with arthritis.

    I was an electrician and a welder. I dont know of anyone who will hire anybody taking the pain meds. I see 3 doctors at least every 6 months why would they send me to see their doctor.

    Also as long as i am on opiates how can they expect anyone to hire me?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      Your claim is being reviewed because your condition was expected to improve. Be sure to attend the independent examination that has been requested. However, I would also recommend that you call the claims examiner at the Disability Determination Services to check to be sure that they have all your records or statements from all the physicians you have seen in the past six months. If they do not, tell the examiner that you want your own doctors’ records and opinions regarding your limitations to be considered. You might also get statements from your own doctors regarding your limitations and restrictions and submit those statements. Your doctors are not expected to say whether or not you are disabled, so just have them describe your limitations, such as not being able to work around machinery due to medications, lifting restrictions, etc. and their opinion of whether your pain levels are credible.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  231. janine williams says:

    my benefits were cut off because i turned 19 i filed for an appeal was denied and my lawyer made another appeal i was told i was approved to receive benefits until my hearing how long before i receive them

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Janine,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      I assume that you were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disabled child’s benefits and now you are pursuing SSI disabled adult’s benefits. If that is the case and you were told that you could receive benefits while your appeal pends, the benefits should start almost immediately. I suggest that you contact your local office if they have not begun as yet.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  232. melissa says:

    I applied for disability for my son I took him to the doctor they sent me to the dr. Said I should here something in 30 days if I don’t I should call them to check on my claim is that a good sign of getting approve he has a learning disability he aso have a iep plan at school

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      It is hard to say why the doctor recommended following up in thirty days. Although it is possible that he was going to write a supportive report and was trying to tell you that, it’s really not possible to know for sure. Following up with the Disability Determination Services is a good idea because it allows you to check to be sure that they have received the doctor’s report.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  233. taylchel says:

    Hi i was wondering whats the deal…i applied for iss benefits for both of my children they both are mildly autistic . I applied on nov. 7th 2013 online at the end of each very long application it said somthing along the lines of an interview by the social security office . And that it takes anywhere up to 120 days to be processed. So is it 120 days till they call me or mail me an interview date? Or is it 120 days till i find out if they are approved? Should i call the iss office ? So lost and so in need of benefit help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Taylchel,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      The 120 days referred to should refer to the amount of time it will take to process the claim after the interview. If you do not have an interview set up within two weeks, contact your local Social Security Adminstration and tell them you completed the online portion of the SSI applications for your children and want to set up an interview to complete the rest.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  234. kristen says:

    I just have question.. I applied for social security disability oct. 2011. I just recently on nov. 13th had my court date with a judge. it lasted about 15 minutes. all they asked me for was my name & my age. then they were talkinto my laywer the rest of the time. i was told i could leave. my laywer srayed in therr an extra 5 min & she came out & said she thought i won & it was a good sign that the jugde had already made a decision even before i came to court.. i havent gotten any letter or anything yet. i called my laywer she hasnt heard anything either. i called the ss office here in my city & they said its pending… how long do you think i should wait? & whats your opinion on the way it went? My lawyer expalined the payment amount & the bk payment. is that normal?

    • kristen says:

      By the way, ive had my conditions since i was born.. i have scoliosis & poland syndrome in my left hand.. will they only go back till oct 2011 anyway?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kristen,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      This response is to both your inquiries.

      It can take sixty days or more to get the formal written decision even when the judge gives a verbal decision at the hearing. There is really nothing that can be done to speed up how long it takes. You can call the hearing office to see if the judge has made the decision. Once the letter is sent it can take up to a couple months for benefits to start.

      If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits will begin the later of the sixth full calendar month after the disabled date approved by the court or twelve months before your October 2011 application. If you applied for SSI, benefits start the month after your application, November 2011.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  235. Marianne says:

    I received a letter saying I was medically approved, and no amount was given. Also said I need to answer non-medical questions?? What does this mean? Iam I approved, why the other questions?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marianne,

      You do not say whether you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), so I will address both. To receive SSI payment, you must be financially eligible (not just medically eligible). When you applied you would have been screened for financial eligiblity at that time. SSI eligibility is month by month, so the Social Security Administration (SSA) has to interview you and perhaps get some documentation from you to see whether you are still finanically eligible and whether you have been every month since you applied. For Social Security Disability (SSD), you must have enough work credits for your age, so you may be asked to provide a birth certificate. If you have dependents, a separate application has to be made to pay the dependents.

      Whether you were approved for SSI or SSD, I recommend that you respond promptly to SSA and provide whatever they request.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  236. Erich Pfleaidermahnn says:

    Kay I just recently applied for SS. I am currently receiving 80% for military disability for PTSD, Irritable Bowl, depression, and anxiety disorder. I applied after I stopped working 18 Oct 2o13. I met with the lawyer 4 Nov 2013 and haven’t really heard anything. Also once I met with the lawyer I was diagnosed with severe asthma and was documented in my military health records. I immediately applied for an increase in military compensation. Will this new info be a consideration for ss? Its really nerve racking to sit and wait. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Erich,

      All your medical and psychiatric conditions will be conisdered in the evaluation of your Social Security claim. So that your attorney can submit the additional information to Social Security, be sure that he or she has the new information regarding your asthma, including the name and contact information for the doctors who are treating your for the asthma.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  237. Maria says:

    Hi kay ! I apply for ssdi in April 2013 and got a denial on July 17 do to my doctors failing to send my medical records. I appeal on September 19 and still no answer. Now it’s December 28 and still nothing ..how long do you think it would take to hear back from them. I apply for having lupus and severe lipoathrophy in face arms and torso, alopecia ,arthritis ,depression and hypertension all do to lupus. Do you think I have a chance of being approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Maria,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      Your reconsideration appeal has been pending quite a while. I suggest calling the Disability Determination Services that is handling your appeal and ask them if they are waiting for anything from you or your physicians. It sounds as if your lupus is somewhat advanced, which could be an indication that you will be found to be disabled; however, I am commenting without the benefit of knowing your work history or age and, of course, I am not a medical professional. I hope you have a decision soon.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  238. sam says:

    i received a mykeeps debit card from my attorney. My ssdi case is pending. Does the card mean that i was a) definitely approved, b) probably approved, or c) means nothing definitive at all ?
    There is no payment on it yet & I received it approximately 2 months ago

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sam,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      I assume that you are referring to the DirectExpress card issued by the U.S. Treasury Dept. for payment of benefits. If you are, receipt of the the card only means that you selected that method of payment should your claim be approved.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  239. dougkeyser says:

    My husband has developed cardiomyopathy and has an ej of less than 20% according to results of an echo done in the hospital. He has episodes of severe shortness of breath and dizziness throughout the day. His cardiologist did a cath and because the results indicate he has no blocked arteries or malformed or leaky valves, the doctor believes a virus triggered the cardiomyopathy. He is being evaluated for an ICD (due to possibility of sudden cardiac death) in January as two appointments were canceled due to the doctor in charge of the evaluation having emergencies. He is on something called Medicaid spend down (?) as he was not covered by insurance, and has to be approved monthly.

    My first question is should we have filed a quick claim for disability? Also, although it will cause a huge financial burden, we have placed him on my insurance, which will cost me $1,200 a month. Should we have done that? It was open insurance season, and we had to decide before the season to change options closed. I should state that he is unable to work due to the dizziness, shortness of breath, inability to lift more than 5 pounds and walk or sit for any length of time before he has an onset of shortness of breath, turns gray, and must lay down.

    Thanks,
    DKeyser

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Doug,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      I recommend that your husband apply for Social Security Disability immediately. It sounds as if he could qualify for benefits.

      With regard to the medical insurance, this a personal decision on your part. If you are thinking that you cannot sustain paying $1,200 a month for his insurance, before cancelling, be sure that he can get back on Medicaid spend down. Rules change all the time. You might also look at the coverage choices and cost of getting him health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  240. Kristina says:

    Why am I recieving a social security check in the mail when I am no longer living with my parents and haven’t received one since I was 18 I am now 20 and just got a check out of the blue in the mail

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kristina,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You may have gotten an explanatory letter by now. If not, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for an explanation before you cash the check. It may be that you are due some retroactive benefits from prior to age 18 or prior to age 19 if you were still in high school after you turned eighteen.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  241. Amber. says:

    If I may also add I have extreme paranoia. And it is very hard for me to be in public.

    Any response is greatly appreciated!

  242. Amber. says:

    Hi Kay, my name is Amber. I have never worked before . I have severe social anxiety, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder and I memory issues. I have had 3 Psychiatrist and my Therapist tell me I am unable to.work and told me to apply for SSI. I am 22 and was officially disabled November 2012. I applied the same month and was denied by December I believe. I take medication for my different disorders and go to Therapy. I called a lawyer off of tv and I recently got a letter saying they recieved my app through my lawyer Dec 4 and I have to sent in specific signed papers by a certain date or I will not recieve benefits. Does this mean I will most likely get approved???

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amber,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You do not say what papers you were asked to sign. If they were papers authorizing the release of medical information to Social Security, it just means that they are processing your claim. If you would like to tell me the type of papers you received, I may be able to comment further.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  243. Margaux says:

    Hi, I mailed my application in. I haven’t received anything in the mail so I was never given a confirmation number. How am I supposed to check my status of the application without a confirmation number

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Margaux,

      Apologies for the delay in responding. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request a status.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  244. damia rickson says:

    Hi kay i was wondering how long after i see the physiologist do i have to wait to hear if i was approved r denied…….

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Damia,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      The time to review a claim after an independent medical examination depends in part on how long it takes the physician to submit his report. After that the review can vary from a couple weeks to a couple months. After six weeks, you might contact the examiner at the Disability Determination Services and ask where your claim is in the review process.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  245. jenn says:

    I have a ? I’m 33 an my doctors deamed me unable to work gave me a lettervtold me take it to social security …which I did in oct I brought my dianosis papers from my doctors as well with me an I recieved two letters from them in nov one stating I was denied ssd due to not having enough work creditsvand the other one was a questioner for ssi which was applied for the same day as the ssd I have yet to recieve any letters or anything so I called and she said waiting on a medical discision what does that mean

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jenn,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      The information you provided indicates that your claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was still pending on the date you wrote and that it was under review to see whether you meet the medical requirements for disability benefits. Be sure to provide everything that is requested, including both medical and financial information.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  246. Jennifer says:

    I had my hearing on October 9, 2013. My lawyer thought it went very well. The VE couldn’t come up with any jobs I could do and the judge didn’t do any cross with the VE. My lawyer thinks that it if wasn’t for my age, I wouldn’t even of had to of gone to this point. I am now 41 and started with the disability issues at 39. I called Social Security yesterday and they said my claim had been assigned to a decision writer. She made a comment that it was taking longer than usual, but the judge had stated that it would take 45-60 days so I haven’t been concerned. My question for you is that after doing some research on the web, some people are under the impression that if your claim is with a decision writer that it means that you are usually denied. I know I haven’t given you my background because it is a long, extensive one with back surgeries and failed back surgeries, etc. But with what I have given you, do you feel that being with a decision writer means a denial first off and second off, the information I gave you about the VE sounds strongly in my favor wouldn’t you think?
    Also, I am fighting the fact that I’m a Registered Nurse, but as I’m sure you can figure, the most comfortable position I can be in is lying in bed. Thank you ahead of time for your help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      All hearing decisions, both approvals and denials, are conveyed to the claimant in long detailed letters; so the fact that your claim is in decision writing is not indication of the outcome. The fact that the vocational specialist did not identify jobs you could perform is favorable. If the judge believes the evidence supports the level of limitations that you are claiming, your claim may be approved.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  247. TRACY GORDON says:

    Can u help me kay in telling me whats goin on its 10months now

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tracy,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      I need more information to provide you with guidance. When did you file your claim? What was the last status report you had? Is it an initial claim or an appeal?

      Thanks,

      Kay

  248. TRACY GORDON says:

    Hi i file in october of 2012 for ssi after being diagnised with major depression and panic disorder which i was denied ithen got a lawyer who appealed for a reconsideration and still was denied now i have been waiting on a court date since february of this year havent herd anything from the lawyer or anyone bout a court dat. Yet

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tracy,

      I did not see this message when I responded to your additional note that it had been ten months since your requested a hearing. It can be a year or more from filing an appeal to a court date. If you have had a change in your condition or have new medical information or different medical providers, it would be good to update your attorney now because notice of the hearing date will be only about three weeks before the hearing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  249. Jane says:

    I received SSDI benefit due to my hearing loss. and I also am legal blind and I sent my Dr for vision report and my SSDI office said I have to wait till my medical review that would be in 2019. THey denied my claim and I sent a new report and they refused to claim my case till 2019 i contacted SS lawyer and they said they could not help me because I am already received benefits..

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jane,

      If I understand correctly, you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits for deafness and your case does not come up for review until 2019. You are now legally blind and want Social Security to get that on record.

      With regard to your Social Security benefits, there is no benefit to establishing that you are legally blind unless you are planning to work and want to have the higher substantial gainful activity benchmark available for the blind. If this is the case, then I suggest that you appeal the fact that they are refusing to review the case. If you are again told you can’t have the matter reviewed, ask to speak to a supervisor.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  250. Amber says:

    I applied for disability and ssi in april and still have not heard of the decision on my case yet, they said it did not start until june but even than i have not heard anything.. its getting very frustrating and i cant hardly afford it the way it is.. why?!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amber,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      Your claim has pended for an unusally long time. I suggest calling the Disablity Determination Services and ask whether they are waiting for anything from you or your doctors. If they are, work to see that the missing information is submitted. If they are not, ask where in line your claim is to be reviewed. How many more before yours? Indicate that you filed the claim in April and that, after an initial delay, processing began in June.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  251. Jason says:

    I guess I’ll ask again…

    I called my disability examiner today, and he said that my file was completed on 12/11/2013. He also stated that it was sent to Quality Review. Has anyone gone through the process? Does anyone know the chances of it being approved OR denied?

  252. shawna says:

    Hello,

    I have a question about my husband. He has chf and severe sleep apnea. he is on oxygen 24 hours a day and on 3 liters. he filed for disability July 30. We have not heard anything from them. He did couple times and they stated it was in review. We check the status all the time and states waiting on medical decision. I check Friday and it states a decision has been made and we’ll receive notice in U.S Mail. Does this mean it was denied? We have heard rumors that you will get a call if your approved.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Shawna,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved. Hopefully by now your husband has received his letter and you have an answer. If not, there is no need to worry because a letter is sent whether an approval or a denial. A call is made only if additional information is needed.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  253. Debi K says:

    Hello – I just received a letter from SSDI approving my medical disability and gave me a date for my disability. But said they would get back to me on the medical approval. How long does this take? I have worked FT all my life (I am 54) and have 32 credits in the last 10 yrs, and many more before that. When I go on the SSA site to check my benefits it says I am considered disabled, it has the dollar amount I will get and it also says the date I will start getting it, which is in March of 2014 (considered disabled since 8/2013). I currently get LTD, own a home and a car but have no savings. Do you think I will get approved the non-medical and how long will it take to hear from them. Does having the payment info on the SSA site mean it has all been approved? Thanks so much for you help. This is a great site – glad I ran across it.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debi,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      You should get a formal approval letter; however, the information on the website is consistent with an approval for Social Security Disability (SSD). This means that the non-medical factors for SSD have been reviewed and approved. Based on an August 2013 date of disability, your unpaid five-month waiting period would run from September through January and your benefits would begin in February 2014. Benefits are paid in the month after they are due, so your first benefit will be received in March.

      It is likely that you are not financially eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of the LTD you are getting. If it has been over $740 a month every month since September 2013, you would not be eligible for any amount of SSI.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  254. Jason says:

    Kay,

    I called my disability examiner today, she said my case was completed 2 days ago. But she did not tell me the status of my application. She said I will receive a letter in the mail and said Merry Christmas to me and got me off the phone.

    Is it normal for the DE not to tell the outcome of the application? Also, I checked online and called Social Security and they both said NO decision has been made yet. So I don’t understand how the state has a decision already made but Social Security does not know the outcome. Is it because my file has not been processed completey by the state and sent to Social Security to update them?

    If you have any insight I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    • Jason says:

      Kay,

      Just a update… I found out today it was sent to Quality Review. I’m not to sure what this means, or what the outcome will be.

      Thanks

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Jason,

        Quality review is a random review to see if the decision making process followed prescribed procedures. If it did the decision rendered will remain in place. If it did not, it could be overturned or returned to the decision maker for further investigation.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jason,

      Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved. Hopefully, your situation has been clarified by now.

      The Disability Determining Services does not provide verbal notification of the outcome of their review. When you checked your claim online aand it showed no decision had been made, it could have been because of lag time between decision and input to the computer systems or because the claim was randomly selected for quality review. Additionally, the Social Security call center representatives are not allowed to say that a decision has been made until five days have passed, possibly to allow time for the possibility of selection for quality review.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  255. Joe says:

    If I get 780 ssdi and my kids get 120 for all and it’s not helping us how can I get more will ssi give more if we need more help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joe,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit is too high for you to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You might seek assistance by applying for food stamps, free school lunches, and/or energy assistance. Local non-profits and some power companies have assistance programs to help with heating bills. Your phone company may have special rates for disabled individuals.You could also check with your local human services department to see if your family income is low enough for your children to qualify for cash assistance and/or medical insurance.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  256. Lori says:

    Afternoon Kay,

    I just called the adujacator for my case atthe dds office and she said my file was sent to my local disability office to make a determination,I was under the impression that was what the adjucator was suppose to do was make a decision since she had my file and sent me to their dr for a physical exam, cause when I call the 800 number to get status of my case they say it is at the local office and know the adjucator is telling me it went to my local office and I will get a letter as to the decision , so i am confused

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lori,

      Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem that is now resolved.

      There are multiple adjudicators for your claim. You are right that the DDS examiner makes the medical decision. However, the local Social Security office’s claims representative makes the decision of whether you meet the non-medical requirements for payment. Whether you are medically approved or denied, the Social Security office–not the DDS–send you notice of the decision.

      If the claim is medically denied, you should get the decision fairly quickly. If it has been medically approved, you might be able to speed things up by asking for an appointment to provide any non-medical information that is needed.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  257. Worried says:

    Dear Kay,
    I applied for disability in January 2011. I don’t have enough credits for SSD, so I applied for SSI. After being denied twice, seeing their doctors, etc, etc, I contacted an attorney, and had my hearing Sept.6 of this year.
    I also had signed up for the Direct Express card. Everyday on the direct website, it would say it was pending-waiting for authorization. Then on Nov. 25, it said it was ACTIVE & being mailed.
    Well, I received my Direct Express card in the mail last week on Dec. 4, and when I called to activate it, they told me I was approved!
    BUT, I called my attorney’s & they said they haven’t gotten a notice yet & also said they had never heard of the US Treasury telling someone they were approved, but that it wasn’t impossible. But, also, they wouldn’t count on it, until an approval decision was in front of them.
    So, I called the local SS office & they said last week, that a decision WAS made, but it was being finalized.
    Almost everyday, I check the SS website, and it says I am not currently receiving benefits.
    I called the local SS office again this morning, and they said it was still pending but I should hear something soon, because it had been like that for a while.
    So, my questions are…
    WOULD the US Treasury KNOW if I were approved or not?
    Why would SS first tell me a decision had been made but being finalized, then tell me it was still pending? And, what does all that mean?
    How long does it take to get paid, if you are approved, after a hearing?
    I’m really worried. This has been a long & hard battle. No health insurance, no money, nothing.
    I’ve had 2 brain aneurysm surgeries, severe anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, major depression, HBP, mini strokes, degenerative disc disease, bulging, herniated, slipped, & ruptured discs in back & neck, etc, etc, etc. Too much to list. I can’t afford to go to the doctor, get my medicines, or pay any of my bills. It’s just terrible. Any information would be greatly appreciated….
    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gail,

      Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem that is now resolved.

      Your attorney is right; until you get a formal decision you cannot be sure. He is also right that usually the Treasury Dept. would not say that you were approved; however, it is also true they would not usually activate the card if you were not. It is possible that the Treasury was notified by error or prematurely to activate the card.

      With regard to the information that you are getting from the Social Security Administration (SSA), “a decision but not finalized” and “pending” may be two ways of saying the same thing. It could be that the judge made a decision and your claim was randomly selected for quality review and thus the decision is not “finalized.”

      It can take up to sixty days to be paid after you receive the judge’s approval letter. If approved, you might be able to speed that up by calling your local office and asking for an appointment to go over your financial information since 2011 so that your Supplmental Security Income (SSI) claim can be calculated.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  258. Pamela says:

    I have a question.I applied for disabilty in 2009 do to a car crash that left me having a hard time standing, walking,sitting..it was a head on crash.i was turned down ,I have fought but keep getting turned down,I now have been dinosed with bipolar 2, Ptsd, i did get my ged when i was 32 , i have trouble remembering things at times due to head injuries ,i hold myself responeable for the wreck because my mother in law came picked me up from work and we were in the crash on the way home.she died from her injuries two years later..i carry the guilt with me..i have tried to kill myself .which is why i went to see a doctor .I have reapplied ..but im still waiting on a letter.if i get it will they go all the way back to 2009. .

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pamela,

      Your claim will probably not go back to 2009 because you are nowclaiming benefits primarily for different conditions. It is unlikely the prior claim would be reopened.

      Peace be with you,

      Kay

  259. Jessica says:

    My husband applied for disability in April of 2013. (in Georgia) In Sept. of 2013 we got a letter that more info was needed. This came from the adjudicators office. It was a letter that wanted detailed information about his previous 15 years of work. How much he walked, lifted, etc…He submitted the documentation and in Nov. called the lady who is in charge of his case. Still no decisions. What could be the hold up? Is them requesting this information a good or bad sign?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jessica,

      The vocational information that was requested is needed for almost every disability evaluation, so the request was routine. I can only speculate that the agency has more work than it can keep up with and that is the cause of the delay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Jessica says:

        Thank you! He called his doctors office today just to see if they had requested his medical records and if they have been sent. They told him the request came in in Nov. and they faxed them out the same day. I think you are right. This office has more than they can handle. I hate the waiting game but in this case my thoughts are: as long as they are requesting information we still have a chance….fingers crossed we get approved first time.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jessica,

          Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem that is now resolved.

          I agree with your assessment. I hope you have a decision soon.

          Kay

          • Jessica says:

            Kay we are stilling awaiting a decision. He has called several times and we still get the same “pending” status answer. I checking the my social security benefits website several times a week (i have read you estimated benefit will change from unavailable to the amount received if approved?) There has been a slight change to that page over the last couple of week. There is a place on there that says you are not currently receiving benefits and then right below that is a blue icon for him to click on for a benefit verification letter (when you click on that is says it can not generate a letter at this time and to call the national number to visit the local office for a letter) just below the icon is a blurb that says “need proof you receive benefits? here is your official letter. We have call the local office and the national number and they tell us they can not give us any more information as long as he was in the “pending” status and they don’t know why that is showing up on his page. Just to recap a bit the applied in April of 2013. Finally in Sept of 2013 we started getting correspondence form the adjudicator. He was 49 at the time of the first application but will be turning 50 in a couple of days. ( I know age plays some factor is this as well) Do you have any thoughts on the time it is taking and or the notices that have changed on his my social security page?

            Thanks

            Jessica

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Jessica,

            If you have been called the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in addition to the Social Security offices and DDS says that the claim is still pending, that means your husband’s claim is still awaiting completion of the medical review. Unfortunately, I can’t explain the unhelpful new information on the website.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  260. Jennalyn Miguel says:

    Hi, we got an approval for the disabilty of my grandmother, but unfortunately she did not receive her back pay yet which is $2,201.. what she just receive is her monthly benefit which is the $197..what would be the possible problem why they did not yet give her back pay?
    i appreciate the help!

    • Jennalyn Miguel says:

      oh i forgot to inform you that we are located here at the Philippines so I dont know what to do if we will contact the social security at Maryland or the social security here at our place. We really need your help Kay!

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Jennalyn,

        Contact your local office in the Philippines.

        Best regards,

        Kay

        • Jennalyn Miguel says:

          oh okay, that is what we will supposed to do.. Thank you for the confirmation. But what would be the main reason why they did not give yet the back pay of my grandmother?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Jennalyn,

            Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

            My observation is that some people’s back pay is very delayed and it is just that it has not been processed–no particular problem.

            Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennalyn,

      It is common for the monthly check to be released before the back pay. I suggest that she contact her local office if she can or, if not, call 1-800-772-1213 and ask if anything is needed from her to release the back pay. If not, ask what work needs to be completed in the office to release the check.

      Best regards,

      kay

      • Jennalyn Miguel says:

        ok Kay, thank you for the help.. Will Fax Social Security to ask for the information because its hard for them to be reach on telephone… thank you!

  261. robert says:

    hi had my hearing on ssd… after two denials..after the alj revewed my medical conditions and heard my testimonie … then hypertitical questions were asked to the VE whom said that I couldn’t work high fisical jobs..but I could do custumer service…. then the judge asked her a hyperthetical question…. and that was…. considering 25 minutes of breake time every hour on an 8 hour work day, and all the medications and its effects would he be able to perform??? the VE replied NO! then my lawyer was given an opportunity to cross examine and only asked the VE one Question… and the question was relevant to one of my medical conditions….it was, Is the use of two hands needed to perform this type of work? and she replied YES…. my question to you is does this mean I will be approved? ive been fighting this scince 6/2011 thak you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      There is no way to know for sure until you get the final decision, but it does sound as if you would be approved.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  262. high anxiety says:

    I also have frequent panic attacks and paranoid events when leaving the comfort of my home im on seroquel 400 Zoloft 100 hydroxazine 25 3x a day and remeron to help me sleep I also see a therapist 3-4 x a month

  263. high anxiety says:

    Hi Kay
    I was recently diagnosed with ptsd bi polar disorder anxiety disorder and personallity disorder axis 2 whatever that means canibus and alcohal dependency I applied for ssi/ssd in july I received paperwork from dds and quickly returned them what is the likelihood of being approved with my diagnosis

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Clarice,

      You could be approved if you are disabled based on your mental health diagnoses alone if they are severe enough. Neither Social Security or SSI will be paid for alcohol or drug addiction.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  264. moesha says:

    I applied for ssi for my son in may he was denied because we had to much money in the bank.i applied again this month I’m approved.do you think im going to get the may thru December check.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Moesha,

      If you filed a new claim for your son in December, benefits will begin in December. If your December “application” was an appeal of denied May claim, then your son might get benefits back to the first month in which your resources (including money in the bank) were within the resource limit.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  265. sherry peterson says:

    I got approval letter from judge on dec 4, 2013 so I called local office abd getting 14000 in back pay and told me I would get roughly 11000 after lawyer fee & said they are wirking on it. It is SSDI no wormens comp or anything else. How long to get backpay?

  266. Lori says:

    Good evening Kay,

    I called the 1800 number for Social security today because I wanted to make sure that my file was recieved this time at the dds office sincethe dr lost the fisrt one, and they said they recieved a 8 page report from the dr and was wondering why it could be that many pages and if this is a good sign for my case.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lori,

      Apparently, your doctor has been very thorough in his report. The comment about wondering why the report was so long doesn’t reveal what the outcome of your claim may be.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  267. Angie says:

    Hi,
    I had an appeals hearing in September and have been anxiously doing my wait time. Well I would call the ODAR office every few weeks to check the status of my appeal,each time I called they told me my case was “pending.” Today, when I called I was advised by the receptionist to contact my lawyer, does this mean my case is denied? or was I referred back to my attorney simply because a decision has been made and the representative that answered the phone is not in a position to discuss my claim? She made it sound like bad news. So now I’m even more worried. The 3 month wait After a hearing is torture!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angie,

      If the judge has made a decision, the hearings office probably would have told you a decision had been made and a letter was in process or had been mailed. Perhaps the judge asked your attorney to provide some additional information. I recommend you contact your attorney for an update.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  268. Jessica says:

    Hello,
    I have several questions. I applied in January and have been waiting for a decision for many months (obviously). I did their psych evaluation like they asked. They psychologist agreed I had severe anxiety, which is one of the reasons I am not working. I also have severe endometriosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic active epstein barr, fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, and generalized anxiety. I communicate with my local adjudicator here in Alaska and she had sent my case off for medical review by a team of doctors in Seattle last week. She got it back and said she had finalized it and was sending it in for final review. She couldn’t tell me if I was approved or denied because apparently some cases get quality tested and re-reviewed. Does this mean she approved me, but couldn’t tell me and this other field person just has to work out the details and then get it back to her? She said it would take about a week. I am just super confused as I thought once it came back from the doctors in Seattle, she would make a decision and that would be the end of it. She said her supervisor and herself had made their decision and it was being sent to a field supervisor and 50% of cases are selected for non-medical information. She did say “I don’t think you’ll have a problem.” Can you give me any insight as to what might be going on?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jessica,

      It sounds as if the claims examiner has all but told you that the decision was favorable. They are not allowed to give a verbal decision because a few random claims are pulled for quality assurance review and because the non-medical factors have to be finalized.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  269. just wondering says:

    its been a year now since my accident .I was on state disability but it has ran out.. I filed about 3-4 month ago went to the physical and mental evals ..wondering if i have a chance they are moving pretty fast from what ive heard.. I lost my leg above the knee and shattered my hip which had to be repaired with plates and pins in addition have limited motion in my shoulder and also have a plate in my forearm and limited motion with no grip in that hand that requires more surgeries not fun…an umbrella was also put in my vein ..diabetic and much more but sure you get the idea.. just worried no real family left to help..no income

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Just Wondering,

      As you describe your injuries, it seems possible that you could be approved. Social Security will compare your abilities to the demands of occupations you have done in the past and if you are under age fifty to all other occupations. Hopefully you will have a decision soon, given that you have already been sent for examinations.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  270. MeyerLansky says:

    I just received a letter from SS stating that I received a favorable decision from the Administrative Law Judge. Before they make any payments, however, I have an appointment for next week stating that I must bring in the following: someone to be a representative payee, a welfare budge letter (I am not on welfare), tax assessment (if I own a home), all bank account statements, car registrations, current income tax return. I am curious as to why they are asking this of me? Since I haven’t worked since 2006 and have been applying since then, now I am not eligible for SSDI, but for SSI because I now do not have enough credits. Can you help me with this?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Meyer,

      SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a public assistance program that pays disability benefits to individuals whose income and assets are below a certain limit. You are being asked to take the requested information and documents to Social Security so that they can evaluate your financial eligibility for every month beginning with the date the judge said you were disabled. Take everything that was requested and ask someone you trust to serve as your representative pay and to attend the appointment with you.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  271. Ted says:

    Question I have applied for disability I have not been denied yet, but I got a call saying they set me up with a doctors appointment is this normal for first applying? Or is it a good sign that I didn’t just get turned down off the bat,

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ted,

      Social Security sends you to an independent examination when there is not enough information in your claim file for them to make a decision. Be sure to attend the examination. If you do not, your claim is likely to be denied.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  272. kathy Stokes says:

    My case has been in medical review for a yr and now I have a new medical examiner she wants current medical records how long will it take now to decide my case before this I went in front of a judge and was denied now my lawyer filed a new claim this has been going on for 4 yrs in all for ssi I see my doctor every month 3 of them

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      Your claim has been pending much longer than normal. Nonetheless, just keep giving the examiner what she says that she needs. At least at this point, it sounds as if the claim is actively being worked on, rather than just sitting.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  273. Melissa Hess says:

    Hi.. I had a hearing on august 13. The job auditor told the judge that there isn’t a job I can work in the u.s. I was told I would receive a letter within 1-3 months Dec 13 will be 4 months. My lawyer told me this.. I still haven’t received anything.. come January 1st I will no longer have a place to live so I really need this income. How can I find out the judges decision? I’ve called my lawyer and asked them but I always get a voicemail and don’t get a call back. Can I do anything else? I was told about 3 weeks ago that the decision was being wrote up. What does this mean? And when will I know if I’ve been approved?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Melissa,

      I suggest that you call the hearing office and let them know that you will be homeless in January and ask if it would be possible to get the letter written up more quickly. (The fact that the claim is in letter writing means that a decision has been made.)

      Unfortunately, it can take sixty days to get payment after a favorable hearing decision letter. As soon as you get the letter, if it is favorable, contact your local Social Security office and ask for an appointment to complete your claim. Let them know that you are about to be homeless. At the interview, ask whether you can get an advance payment so you can purchase shelter.

      If you get an approval from the judge, you might be able to negotiate staying where you are on the promise of using retroactive benefits to get current on rent or mortgage. Also, in some states and counties, it is possible to get a one-time bridge assistance to cover rent until known income comes in. If you are approved, contact your local human services department to see if they can help or can refer you to an agency that can help.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  274. Samiya says:

    Hi Kay, I am 37 years old and applied for disability in September. I have done physical hard work since I was 19. I hurt my back and hip on my job I know longer work there but have workers comp for my injuries. I have osteoarthritis in my hip, hip spurs and a cyst between the joint. I have a bulge disc, spinal stenosis and a pinched nerve and a spur in my back. I hurt everyday, take meds for depression dont socialize anymore married for only two years and having trouble with intimacy because of this. My question is after all the proof I provided I still have to see their doctor. Is this a bad thing for my case?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Samiya,

      You are being sent to a doctor for more evaluation because at least some of your medical problems are not sufficiently documented in your medical records and there is insufficient information to decide your claim. Social Security is requesting more information by sending you to a doctor so that some of the information gaps can be filled.

      Best regards,

      Kay