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

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  2,105 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.

notice of approved claimDisability 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?”

How will I know whether my application for Social Security Disability benefits has been approved?
5 (100%) 1 vote

  • Frank Eubanks

    My daughter has trisomy 21 and we currently make 4500 a month which gives us a little bit of SSI benefit. I am planning on going back to school and using my GI bill they will then pay my college and give me a BAH. The question I have is does the BAH fall under income for the SSI benefit?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Frank,

      If you receive the BAH as a cash payment to offset your rent or mortgage, the BAH will count as your unearned income. If it is paid directly to your landlord or mortgage company, it will still count as unearned in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of support and maintenance. The question will be whether it is considered all your income or income to everyone living in the household.

      If it is in-kind and considered to be all yours, it will not affect your daughter’s SSI because in-kind income is not deemable. On the other hand, if it is considered income to the whole household, the BAH will be divided by the number of people in the household and your daughter’s share will count in calculating her benefit. The maximum that can be counted as her in-kind support is $264.34.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mylinda

    I was told the following and dont know what it means……A medical decision has been made and we are working to process your benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information. Any idea what this means for me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mylinda,

      The letter you received is telling you that you have been medically approved for disability benefits and that the non-medical factors of your claim are being reviewed and payment authorized assuming you meet the non-medical factors. If you meet the non-medical factors, your claim will be approved and paid. Preliminary review of the SSI and SSD non-medical factors was done before the medical review and now the final review is being done.

      For Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI), this means being insured for Social Security, having a payee appointed if needed, applications for minor children, and/or bank account information. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) review of non-medical factors means review and documentation of your income, assets, and living arrangements.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Claudia

        Hi Kay, I live in Texas and I started an online application for SSDI SSI in late June however I was unable to finish it due to technical problems. In the beginning of August I finally called the SSA phone number for her. A nice gentleman finished my application over the phone. He scheduled a phone interview for me for a week or two later and explained what information I would be needing. During the interview I was asked for my bank information. About a week or so I noticed a pending transaction from the US Dept of Treas SSDI for 0.00. But it went away the next day. I received two packets with health information and work history to be completed. I immediately faxed those back and confirmed that they were received. I received nothing further. I called in Oct. to check status and was told they had all necessary info. Still have not heard anything and due to the financial struggles I decided to check status again today. I called SSA and was told that I should be hearing something any day now either by phone or mail but more than likely by mail. She said for sure by the end of the month. Any thoughts? They never requested anything further from me so I’m not sure if this is a good sign or not. Thank you for your help.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Claudia,

          If the bank direct deposit set up occurred before you submitted the medical and vocational questionnaires, that action was not an indication of approval. The reference to a possible phone call could indicate that you are being medically approved and that the phone call will be to gather non-medical information needed to pay benefits. The reason is that medical denials are not communicated by phone. All that said, you will just have to wait and see; at this point, there’s not enough information to know what the outcome will be.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Mylinda

        Hi Kay thanks for the reply, I thought it meant I was approved also but I got a letter of denial today, leaving me more confused as the ss site still says the above.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mylinda,

          It takes a while for the online record to update. I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so you can review the exact reasons for the denial and the evidence the denial was based on. If you then think an error has been made, you can appeal.

          If you appeal, I suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with your appeal. 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 before they send your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Diana

            I got the same result Unfavorable over the phone. I have not received my denial. I devastated. Do I have to stay with rep I had, I feel he did not work to my benefit. I called lawyers, they do not do appeals.. Most of them. Can I get any help

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Diana,

              It is unusual to get a claim decision over the phone. If you receive a written denial letter, I suggest that you get a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons for the denial. You have the right to change representatives if you wish. If you disagree with the reasoning, as you are aware, you can appeal. Social Security attorneys do handle appeals, in fact, they handle more appeals than original claims. I suggest you contact your state’s bar association to get a list of attorneys in your state who specialize in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability claims.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Brandon Kachmar

        My status said the same thing yesturday: “A medical decision has been made and we are working to process your benefit application. A Social Security Representative may contact you directly if we need any additional documents or information”. Today it changed to denied. It says: “if you wish to appeal your medical denial ….” So I believe the above information is incorrect and it got my hopes up just to be disappointed.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brandon,

          The online information seems enigmatic at best and at times appears to be inaccurate. It is a reporting mechanism and not your actual claim record; so I suggest that if you do not receive a denial letter within a week that you call your local Social Security office to verify the status of your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Diana

      I had the same thing online when I checked yesterday it was dated Dec 2, 2016 today it says Our records show that an application for benefits has been filed. However, we have not yet finished working on the claim and at this time we cannot tell you whether or not benefits will be payable.What does this mean?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Diana,

        From comments received, I think that Social Security has changed the wording of the online status reports to be a bit more detailed. Basically, it is telling you that the claim is pending.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • liz

    Hi Kay
    I applied for SSD back in September and it has almost been 90 days and i have not received any notice or letter about a decision. I have checked status online and it says my case is in medical review and according to The List of medical disabilities my disease is on there and i was wondering why i have not heard anything. The last phone call was from a lady at the SSD office and at the end of the phone call asked for my banking information but again that was over a month ago and i am just curious if I should be doing something else or can I contact someone to see where my status stands.
    thank you
    Liz

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Liz,

      Initial claims take two to five months to process. You have the information that the medical decision has not yet been made. You can call the Disability Determination Services (DDS) and ask the claims examiner whether they are waiting for anything from your medical providers that you can follow up on. If not, ask whether a rough estimate can be given on when the decision might be reached.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Jennifer soto

      How you check status

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jennifer,

        If you applied online, you can login in with your claim receipt number to check the status. I do not have detailed instructions for you, so once you are in your claim account, browse around until you see “claim status” or some similar wording.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jackie

    Hello,

    My son is 6 yrs old and was diagnosed with Autism through an IEP at school and was referred to the South Central Regional Center where he was treated and also diagnosed. I was told to make an appointment at my local SS office to see if he can get help. I called in July and was giving an interview on Sept. 15. I later received a letter asking for more information. I sent them IEP’s, Report Cards, The teacher questionaire and letters from the regional center. I even sent them a letter I wrote explaining how my son is at home and when we go out. The reason I didn’t think it would be fair just to ask the teacher. My son is also home with me. I thought I could give my side of what I see, what he goes through. I called to check on the progress and they told me his paperwork was being seen by the dr. I guess their doctor. I’m scared they will denie him. We are entering December and nothing so far. Does the doctor having the paperwork mean a bad thing, like him getting denied?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jackie,

      Review by a physician occurs in many claims and is not necessarily an indication of future approval or denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I was approved for SSI a week ago. That day they got all the info they needed and told me that it would just be a couple of days for my check. They have told me that it was being processed so what exactly does that entail and when should I expect my check?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      All the non-medical information that has been gathered for your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim has to be reviewed and input into your computer record and authorized for payment in the computer system. Usually, this takes longer than a couple days–more like a couple weeks to a month. If you do not have payment or a letter saying when you will receive payment by the end of the month, try following up with the local office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Anntraneace

        I recieved a email saying I needed to send my medical release form before november 26th 2016 or i will be denied i just received my email today is it too late for me to send it when the office opens Monday?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Anntraneace,

          Hopefully you have provided the release by now. The 26th was a Saturday, so submitting it on Monday should not be a problem unless they were saying that they had to receive it on Monday and you were planning to send it via the postal service. If you are unsure about your situation, I suggest calling or emailing to ask whether the release was received and your claim is still being processed.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Carolyn

        Hi,

        It’s been almost 120 days since ALJ hearing for SSI for my child. The judge requested a medical expert opinion. In which the medical expert said that my child medically met a listing or equaled a listing for asthma. Since the hearing my child was hospitalized for pneumonia and had several visits to doctor due to regression/exacerbations. Since medical expert already agreed child met listing does this mean she will be approved for benefits? And will these other records make any difference?

        Thank You,

        Carolyn

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Carolyn,

          The consultative examination should be enough, but I wouldn’t take any chances; I would submit the admit and discharge summaries from the hospital and the physician visit notes.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Td

      Dear Kay,

      My Husband was approved for ssd and ssi on November 8th. We went to the local office and filled out all the required paperwork and withdrew his application for ssi. With my income we over qualified . On November 18th we received his approval letter for ssdi and an approval for the withdrawal on ssi. The approval for ssdi states his first benefit payment will be paid on December 28, 2016. My question here is when can he expect his back pay? Our minor child will also receive benefits, but we have not been told when that will start.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear TD,

        Back pay and dependent benefits can take another month or two. It might be a good idea to double check with the local office that they transmitted to the SSDI payment center that the SSI application was withdrawn.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • SD

    The local DDS had my medicaid application with my medical evidence since September, they received my SSI application with new medical evidence on the 17th which was when I had my interview with the local social security office and a decision was made on the 18th on both claims at the same time which was a denial which I found out today. I believe they had already denied my medicaid claim and didn’t even look at my SSI claim before denying it. MY questions are: Are they allowed to decide both cases at the same time? Can they use the medical evidence from my Medicaid claim to decide my SSi claim? I thought they had different outlines and requirements.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear SD,

      The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not take claims for Medicaid health insurance and the Disability Determination Services (DDS) does not make a medical disability decision for Medicaid. The two disability programs that SSA administers are Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). (If you are approved for SSI, in most states you will also receive Medicaid and after two years of SSD benefits, you become eligible for Medicare.)

      It appears to applied for SSD and SSI at different times. (I am not sure which was first.) Although the two programs have different non-medical requirements, for adults the medical requirements for SSD and SSI are the same; so it is correct that your medical eligibility for SSD and SSI was determined at the same time.

      If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal and to request a copy of your claim file to see the exact reasons for the denial and to be sure all your medical evidence was obtained. If you appeal, I suggest that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist with your appeal. 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 before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tiffany Washington

    Hello, Kay

    I applied for ssi for my son October 3rd of this year(2016). My son was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease. He just recently started school 3 weeks ago due to his condition which I told the local office at the time he still isn’t in school. They still sent a teachers questionnaire. Will that affect the design they make. We are military family of a total of 8 in my household.I’m married with 6 children, my husband makes $2,483 before taxes and after taxes it’s $2,360. He receives BAH of $1194 which they take all of since we live in on post housing in El paso tx. Do they include the BAH when determining my son’s egibility. I receive $23.04 in child support for two of my child. How much will we receive a month if approved. We also have a car that he pays $486 a month as a car note and $153 in car insurance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiffany,

      Because you live on post and the BAH is paid and then deducted for accounting purposes, the BAH is not countable income either as earned or unearned income. If approved, your child will be eligible for $733. If in the future your husband receives BAH and you do not live on post, the BAH will be income, but even then your child would be financially eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Casey

    Hi, Kay. I was contacted Friday, November 4th to come to the local SS office to provide a Rep Payee application for my husband and children as my husband was approved for his benefits. I have checked online for a status and on his SSA account and no update is reflecting any approval but rather still stating no decision has been made. Is this normal to not be updated even if the local SS rep said everything was processed and we should see money in our accounts within 10 days? Just getting nervous something changed.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Casey,

      It is possible that the online record has not been updated; I would trust the local office that your husband has been approved for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) because they would not take the payee applications for him and especially for the children if he were not medically approved. However, payment in ten days sounds very optimistic unless he was also approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is authorized out of the local office and is paid before SSD.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Tracy

      Dear Kay,

      In May, 2016 my Husband applied on line for disability . In August he called to receive a status update on his claim as we had not heard anything . When he called the representative could not find him in the system. After several minutes she was able to locate him and stated his claim had not yet been worked. At that time she was going to send an email to the field office and have them contact him. He waited a couple of weeks and we looked at the website, which stated that medical information was being pulled. At the end of September we received 2 different packets to fill out. This was for past medical visits, work history and health questions . We filled thar out and mailed it the very next day. We are financially

      struggling and at the end of October we applied for ssi. We spoke to a representative yesterday to get status of disability claim. The representative said that a decision had been made and was sent to the local office. She stated that we should receive that information in the mail by the end of the month. We had called back today because since filing he has had several tests done and we have those results from the Doctor. We wanted to get the address to the local office to take those in. The representative today could not find my husband in the system. Once he did find him he was quite confused between the ssd and ssi claim. He really couldn’t answer any questions. He said that we didn’t need to take those test results in unless they request us to do so. So now I am wondering which claim a decision has been made on. They can’t seem to tell me….they will not provide the local office phone number to me. Can you tell me how I can get someone to answer my questions? Once a decision goes to the local office how long does it take them to get the letter in the mail? As of today’s date no one has reached out to us about this claim other than the 2 packets that came in the mail.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Tracy,

        I can provide some general information, but I suggest that your husband go to the local office to request a status on both claims. Here’s the general information: If your husband was medically approved, the local office will calculate the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim and authorize payment. When you are in the office, ask if anything is needed from your husband to get the SSI paid. If you are in dire straits financially (such as behind in rent or mortgage), your husband can file a dire need statement that might speed things up a little.

        Notice of medical approval for Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) is sent to the program payment center for review of non-medical factors such as checking your husband was insured on the established date of disability. The payment center authorizes the SSD payment.

        In concurrent claims, SSI is paid first. Once SSI is paid, then the SSD claim will be processed. SSD back pay will be reduced by SSI paid for the months in which your husband was eligible for both benefits. For both benefits, sometimes the money comes before the award letter.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Cassie Y Henderson

          I am sorry to but into someone’s question. I applied for SSI 8/12/2016. I had a Left Total Hip Replacement 11/5/2015, tried to continue to work until 8/2016 as the pain was just too much. I have complied with any and everything that Ms. Angela (caseworker) has asked of me. I went to my Dr. the 10th of the this month and was examined and had a ROM exam done. Was referred back out to the orthopedic doctor. I have severe arthritis, degenerative disc disease, chronic pain, anxiety, depression I am sure the latter due to my situation as I am only 45…I was 44 at the time of my surgery. I called Ms. Angela right away and she said that is what they were needing was as ROM exam, as well as x rays. However, I fell two weeks ago, twice, I went the hospital and luckily was just bruised and injured my arm when I tried to grab hold of something. I called Ms. Angela and my dr so they could get the records. Which Ms. Angela said was perfect as I would have more x rays at my CE. Which was Nov, 23, 2016. The nurse gave me a visual exam, and did several x rays which were extremely painful and she could tell. She was extremely nice. She put me in the closest room to her room. The Dr. came in and listened to my chest, asked me to bend my legs as much as I could which was less than adequate for normal activity (his words). He said there was no reason to ask me to kneel or try to pick something up off the floor because he knows it wasn’t possible (his words again). He asked me to raise my arms above my head, bend my head down to my chest then look up. Then had me sit, as he wrote and I cried (which I have no idea why I cried and fiddle with my string on my shirt as he wrote) Then he told me this is just a formality. Grabbed my crutch (i still have to use from time to time) and held the door open for me and I asked if they needed a urine sample and he said no not needed. and he would send his report over next week. (holiday) This is probably one of the most uneducating appt I have ever experienced. Is this a good thing or can you please give me your opinion. I was never asked anything about depression, anxiety either. (probably cause I was a cry baby) (yes I am my worse critic) THANKS AGAIN! SORRY TO BUT INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S QUESTION.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Cassie,

            As you describe the examination, it was an orthopedic examination to determine your physical limitation. Such an exam would not address your mental health. Consultative examinations are for evaluation purposes only and do not include treatment or health counseling.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

            • My dds caseworker called to verify income from 2001. And how about long I worked there. But she had the amounts I made, and said I should know something in the next week. Is that good or bad?

              • Kay Derochie

                Dear Cassie,

                The call from the examiner is neither good nor bad. She was gathering information needed for a decision to be reached.

                Sincerely,
                Kay

    • Christina

      My son was awarded disability ( adult with a childhood disability) he approved by the judge (fully favorable) on 10/28/2016. We still have heard nothing from our local office. I called today and they said the payment center still has him a suspended status. What does this mean?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Christina,

        Apparently your son received benefits before he turned age eighteen and his benefits were suspended when he was no longer a minor pending the outcome of his childhood disability claim. It usually takes a couple months after approval to get payments started.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Iisha White

    I applied for ssi for my son for Autism in June. His last evaluation was from 2014 so they sent him to a CE today who did an IQ test and Mental exam. The doctor said my son was clearly autistic and also is being diagnosed with ADD and Anxiety disorder. he said he doesn’t understand how he was misdiagnosed this long. He said i should be getting a letter from ssa within 6-8 weeks. however, our DDS rep told me before the ce that his claim should be finished no longer than 24-48 hours after exam…do you think his chances are good? if so, what would next step be, I myself am receiving SSDI so they have my income information.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisha,

      The DDS representative must be quite caught up with claim reviews, but even so the decision is likely to come within two days. For one thing, the consultant has to write and submit the report. Based on the consultant’s opinion, it is likely that your child is medically eligible. If he is approved, the local office will calculate and authorize his benefits, but it is likely you will be asked to give a financial update first.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sandra

        Hi, I have been waiting on a decision on my claim since June 2016, my dds is in Birmingham , she called two weeks ago and said that it was going to review, I. Called twice since and no return call, I have rheumatoid arthritis and pulmonary hypertension I have run out of money and about to run out of insurance, I need an answer now oh by the way I am 56

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sandra,

          As you describe the status of your claim, a decision could be rendered within a month. You can submit a letter of dire need and that might speed things up a little bit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Karen

    Dear Kay, my attorney called me this afternoon I won my hearing!!!!! I was found fully favorable!!!!! I just want to say thank you for all your help and support with helping me understand the hearing process. THANK YOU!!!!!!

    • Kay Derochie

      You are very welcome, Karen.

  • Ben Smith

    Who makes the final decision. The Disability Examiner or the Disability Medical Consultant?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ben,

      The disability examiner, who is trained in Social Security law, considers the consulting physician’s report along with all other medical information in your claim file to make the decision of whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security law.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Do you know what the gross amount isthat you can make working to qualify non medical? My son was approved medically but now needs my income information. I make $17.50 a hour which my gross amount is $1400 every 2 weeks. This is my only income and I pay $723.66 for mortgage through habitat for humanity which is income based program and I do not have to pay interest on it! I have an ira with $750.00 in it and a 403b plan that I started at my job this year! I’m not getting help to pay mortgage or any of the other bills. My checks once taxes come out are always $1,040.00. I have 1 car with no car payments and my son is 7 he currently only gets medicaid. I’m a single parent. Do I make too much money to qualify? ? I haven’t sent anything in yet but was wondering what’s the amount you can make to qualify in florida?? For ssi for child

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brittany,

          I estimate that your son will be eligible for about $119 in month in months your receive two pay checks. In months you receive three pay checks your income will be about $500 over the limit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Robin

    Dear Kay,
    I have a question about dds. I have been in contact with my examiner on different occasions, 4 weeks ago was the last I spoke with her to update her on medical treatment. She at that time told me she was waiting on records from my physical therapist, then she was going to turn it over to a medical consultant. She received the records from physical therapy 3 weeks ago. I have been trying for the last week to get a hold of her to update her again about going to the pain clinic, she does not eturn my calls so I called the dds office today and asked if she was out of the office. They then told me she does not have my case, that it was with someone else. I do not understand why someone else has it and why I was not informed of that. Anything you can tell me I would appreciate, I am feeling very nervous and uptight now.
    Thank you for your time,
    Robin

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      The “someone else” may be the medical consultant the examiner referred to. I suggest that you fax the records from your visit to the pain clinic to the DDS and call DDS again and ask the person who answers the phone to give a message to the person who has your claim that pain clinic records have been faxed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Robin

        Dear Kay,
        Thank you for your response. I contacted the dds office, my examiner no longer is in that office, she transferred to a different department. They are working on finding out who my new examiner is and how far along it is. Hopefully I will hear something soon
        Thank you again for helping all of us.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Robin.

      • Regina Silva

        Dear Kay, I am 57 and applied for disability 6 months ago, Last Thursda . DDS said my case is closed and will be sent to local ssa office and to call her back today. I did and she said. my case is still at DDS because of technical issues and to call her again in two days.
        Any ideas on what this means?

        Gina

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Regina,

          Apparently, the representative thought that the medical decision on your claim had been finalized, but the final review of the claim resulted in some additional action being required.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • V.Burwell

            Hi Kay,
            My hearing was on June 30th of this year and October 28th I was found fully favorable I was told I should contact my local Social security office to bring in the necessary paperwork to update the information I had given my local social security office in the past so i did just that apparently they stated that i didn’t qualify for back ssi because i had a sufficient income and since ssi is a needs based program at the time while waiting for my hearing but I received a one time payment for the months of September and October but they told me that my SSDI is still pending at the payment processing center in Maryland but when i go on the My Social Security website it say estimated benefits and it doesn’t show the the ssdi is pending what do I do now?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear V.,

              It can take a couple months to get Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) started. If you haven’t received benefits or a letter saying when they are coming by the end of the year, you can ask the local office to send an inquiry to the payment center.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Katherine Rose

    Hi Kay,

    After I had my hearing with the judge which my attorney seemed pleased with. I waited six months for a decision. I finally got a letter in the mail last month that stated Notice of Decision – Fully Favourable. I read more of this large letter that stated if you disagree with my decision, you may file an appeal with the Appeals Council. The rest of the letter just described in detail what was said in the hearing, my medical records with the judges opinions on each medical issues and their doctors and mine as well as my tests done. I immediately called my lawyer, spoke to his paralegal who I have worked most with and she had already gotten the same letter the day before. She said don’t worry about it, it means I’m approved. The next step is for them to calculate my payments for my back pay and monthly pay. I also said I now need Medicare for next year due to the changes in the marketplace, she just said they will mail me something. I found out, which I wasn’t told by my lawyer that you must be on disability for two years before you get Medicare. However, I will have almost 5 years of backpay so I’m not worried. I am worried that should I contact Social Security to have them take out $100 out of each payment for the past two years of my back pay and future payments while their calculating? Is she wrong and I’m not approved? Can you give me some clarification on what I need to do to get on Medicare by January 2017 if I am approved? I’m running out of time and need to also get a supplemental plan but first need a Medicare Card to do that.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katherine,

      The letter you got is a approval letter; it is long because the law requires the judge to explain the reasons for the approval. Social Security will automatically withhold Medicare premiums for Part B Medicare. Check with your local office to find out how to enroll in part D for prescription drugs from the beginning if you want to enroll in Part D as well. Your claim along with Medicare eligiblity might be processed to payment before January 2017. If you have a dire need for medical care in January, you might try submitting a dire need statement, which might speed up the processing a little. The other thing you could do is enroll in another insurance for January as a back up; then switch to Medicare and a Medicare supplement as soon as your Social Security and Medicare is processed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Travis

    Hello Kay,

    I filled for SSDI in April and still have not received a letter! I called SSA and the repersentive asked me a series of questions and about 30 mins later he asked me for my bank account number and routing number. I was a little hesitant however, I provided the information he requested. Did I do the right thing and what does all this mean

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Travis,

      Please see my earlier response. You have added a bit more information in your second post including how long the claim had been pending and how long the phone interview was. I would say that probably your claim has been approved and information was requested to move the claim toward payment. Also, note that you called Social Security, so you knew you were speaking with the agency and, therefore, it was safe to provide information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Travis

    Hello Kay,

    I filled for SSDI in April 2016 I called and the SSA told me it was sent to the Social Security Determination Branch on July 15th and the requested more documents and obtained those documents on Sept 1st. I called SSA because I have not received any letter the repersentive asked me a number of questions about my children birth certificates and my bank routing number and account number. I was very hesitant however, I provided the information. What does this mean?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Travis,

      It is possible that your claim has been medically approved, or it is equally possible that the questions were used to determine that you were who you said you were before information was given out to you. I suggest calling the disability Determination Services to find out whether a decision has been made or the claim is still under medical review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brittany

    I applied for ssi july 16th 2016 for my son who has adhd combined type. The lady at ssi said it was processed and approved on the 8th of august. I called back twice since then and they stated it was at local office and asked if I ever received a call. The other lady said she couldn’t give me any information until 30 days has been up from the last call made. I set up an account for social security but it days I don’t have a claim pending and not receiving benefits. Does this mean my son was denied? I haven’t received an answer yet

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brittnay,

      I suggest that you go to the local office because you son’s claim should definitely have been paid by now. Ask to speak to or have someone speak to the person handling the claim to find out what still needs to be done to get payment started. Indicated that it has been two months since the medical approval. If you have trouble getting the information, ask politely to speak to a supervisor who can check on the status for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • The lady at ssi told me that they couldn’t tell me anything until the 30 days were up which would be on the 15th of this month. I haven’t received a letter or anything. Just one lady at ssi told me I was approved which I believe they’re not supposed to do. I will try calling the office this week though. Thank you

      • Marie

        My son recieved his approved letter from ssi….They want me to come in before oct 20 with my check stubs….they say if I dont come in before 20th my son application will be denialed….Im going in what should I expect will they tell me how much my son will recieve and when will his medicare kick in

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Marie,

          Your and your son’s finances and living arrangements will be reviewed. You can ask for an estimate of how much his benefits will be. Your son will be eligible for Medicaid, not Medicare. Depending on the state, the Medicaid will start automatically the month of or the month after SSI benefits start or you will have to apply for Medicaid in a state office. The Social Security representative can tell you whether you have to apply for Medicaid separately.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Meme

        Dear kay ,
        My son has been receiving benefits since birth from being a preemie. He is now 2 years old. Today I received a letter from DSS saying they need to evaluate my sons case to find out if he is still eligible through medical records. He always catch every virus that comes around. My questions are .. how long will this process take? Will his SSI stop during this process? Am I supposed to call and ask questions or will the call me?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Meme,

          Your son will receive benefits during the review. Complete any forms that have been requested and submit anything you want to that would support your son is still disabled if you believe he is. It might be a good idea to talk with your son’s doctor to let the doctor know that his eligibility is being reviewed. The review process can take from a month to three months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Meme

            Thanks for the helpful information Ms. Kay.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Meme.

  • Kimberly

    Hello, I applied for SSI for my son in August. The DDS only sent me a Teacher Questionnaire form for my child teacher to fill out. My child was never referred to have a psych evaluation like I see some post saying they had to. I called the DDS and she said to call my local office. My local office said a decision has been made and to wait for a letter. Is everyone referred to go through the Social Security Dept Psychiatrist? Im thinking my case has been denied because they didnt refer my son to one or is everyone different? Does that mean my son has been denied since he wasnt referred to one even though he see a Psychiatrist on a monthly basis?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kimberly,

      Social Security orders an independent exam only when they judge they do not have enough information to make a decision. It is possible your son’s claim was denied, but it is also possible that an approval was made based on the reports from your child’s psychiatrist and teacher.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robin V.

    Kay,

    I received a notice with a fully favorable decision on Sept. 19 and the notice was dated 9/14. When my attorney originally filed back in 2014, they did not collect or include my banking information. Now, I am trying to get social security to update my file with my banking info for direct deposit as I have read online that I should do this ASAP to speed up payment. I have called the 800# three separate times and even went in to my local office to try to do this and have been told that I cannot do so until the payment center finishes processing my case and that I will have to receive a paper check initially. The option to enter my banking info is not visible on mySSA account online. I am confused because I have read of others adding banking info for direct deposit in between getting their decision notice and before it is finished processing in the payment center. Do you have any knowledge of this process? Is there any way that you know of that I can get this done? TIA

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      The only way you can get the direct deposit information added is through the local office. My understanding is that they could input the data to your record now; but if they are declining to do so, then there is nothing you can really do about it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tammy

    My 2 year old son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Aug. 2016 I got a call stating he.was approved for presumptive disability. I got a call the next day asking for information. He said that my son was non medicalapproved but not medical approve. What does this mean? Have he been approved for SSI? PRESUMPTIVE disability is only up to 6 months.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tammy,

      Your son will receive provisional payments based on presumed disability. While he is receiving the benefits, his claim will undergo a full medical review to confirm that he is disabled; that is what was meant by his not yet being approved medically. Non-medical approval means that family income and resources are within the SSI limits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tammy

        Ha Kay

        Well he was medically approved, but how much is he entitled too. Our household consists of 4 people’s. Me and my three son’s. The one that was approved medically gets 188.00 in childsupport. and his brother recieve 188 making it a totally 376 in all and my other son receive nothing. I recieve SSDI for 733. Who much SSI will he be entitle to?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tammy,

          I estimate that your child will be eligible for about $628.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • I called today to check my status and was told it was closed today and being sent to the local office and I will receive a letter. I’m in NC. What are the chances I was approved? I saw the DDS psychologist Sept 26 and closed Sept 28. They said they got all the info they asked for so I’m hopeful but I’ve heard you almost always get denied.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      I have insufficient information to offer an opinion about whether your claim has been approved or denied. If it was denied, I suggest requesting a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons for the denial and the evidence the decision was based on. If you then disagree with the decision, you can appeal.

      If you appeal, I suggest getting help from an experienced Social Security attorney. 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 before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kelly

        So I am told that I have to come out of pocket then does that mean I was denied

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kelly,

          I think you may be referring to your attorney’s out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of your medical records, but I do not have enough information to know whether your claim may be approved or denied. You would have to pay the out-of-pocket expenses either way.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Tosha

    I asked a question on 9-27-16 were can I find your answer

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tosha,

      You posted your question under a different article. Here is the reply I wrote:

      After the judge makes a decision, the decision letter is written and returned to the judge for review and signature. This is probably why your claim is back on the judge’s desk.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Samantha brookshire

    Hi Kay I was approved for social security disability on August 23 2016. Today is September 28. How long before I get back pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Samantha,

      Social Security Disability back pay is usually paid within one to two months after the monthly benefits begin, which can also take one to two months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Roddrick Russell

    I want to know I went to my hearing on 8-2-16:then after my hearing they ask me to go to this doctor on ,9-8-16 I never heard of going to the hearing then see a doctor could someone tell me something.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Roddrick,

      It is not uncommon for a judge to ask a claimant to attend a medical examination for the purpose of obtaining more medical information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Krissy L.

    Hi Kay,

    I had a hearing back in July which I had some additional records to be retrieved. Now since that has been resolved I’m still awaiting on a decision I called last week since the judge was suppose to render on last week according to the letter she cc to me and it is still pending at ODAR. When speaking to the 800 number the lady stated the only letter she saw that was updated on my claim was a notice of payee and direct deposit information that was addressed to the law firm that represented me. Does this maybe sound like my claim is approved and the judge is just writing her decision?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Krissy,

      The call center and local offices have only general information about the status of a pending hearing. I suggest that you call the hearing center (ODAR). ODAR can tell you whether the judge has made the decision and the appeal is in the writing or the decision has not yet been made.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • blamche felto

    I applied for ssi back in july 2016 i went to see the determination docoter on 9/7\20 they told me that i would recieve a letter in mail 7-10 business days what does that mean im denied ssi benefits

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Blanche,

      At this point, there’s no way to know whether your claim has been approved or denied.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Alice McKenzie

        Is there a general time frame in which you should hear back after you submitted your first attempt for benefits?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Alice,

          Original claims typically take two to five months to reach a decision. You may be contacted before then for additional information.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • I been calling social security to see if my daughter been approved they say they can’t tell me over phone …that a letter in mail 5 to 7 buisness days …..they said they made decision. ..is that somethang new?????

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kaya,

      Social Security has long had the policy of not releasing claim decisions over the phone.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • If I go to my local office would they be able to tell me whether my child of approved or not or do I still have to wait for the letter

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rebecca,

          The local office will probably get notification of the approval or denial of your child’s claim about the same time that you do, so you might as well wait for the letter. If th0 local office does not contact you for a financial update within ten days of any medical approval letter you receive, then going to the office to request an update interview or calling to get an appointment for an interview could move things along.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Tera

    I received a letter that stated they were holding my file because of my condition and had to evaluate my condition.. What does this mean???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tera,

      To be eligible for Social Security or SSI disabiltiy benefits, your must be disabled or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. I would say that a decision is being deferred to see whether or not you will recover from your disability in less than twelve months. This is fairly common with heart attack, stroke, and certain traumatic injuries.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tera

        My disability is from having two heart attacks then I just was released for get shocked by my defibrillator because of a irregular heart beat….how likely is it to get approved for congestive heart failure??

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tera,

          If you are unable to work and earn $1,130 gross a month and are expected to be unable to work for a period of twelve months (past and future combined), I suggest that you file a disability claim. You can get information about filing a claim in the articles under the “Apply for SSD” tab at the top of this web page. You can start a claim online at http://www.ssa.gov or by calling Social Security at http://www.ssa.gov.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tera

            I have applied I’m in the appeal stage I was denied prior because I was unable to provide information due to being in the hospital…. I have a lawyer already…. But I called to check the status the said their waiting on information from my last visit…. I also have to have throat surgery after having tubes down my throat from being in a coma…I can barely speak…how likely is it that I’ll be approved

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tera,

              Please see my response to your previously posted question. As you describe your limitations, I would expect you to be approved if your cognitive and/or speech limitations are expected to last twelve-months or more including past months of disability.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • M Sales

    Hey, I apply for my son back in May 15, still have not heard anything. I call them they tell me nothing. It’s now September 26, I went to the office last week and was told by the manager that who ever did my paperwork at the office did not do it right and my paperwork was just floating around. Someone please help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear M. Sales,

      I think that you were being told that your son’s claim was not forwarded to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) for the medical review to begin. Hopefully, the claim was flagged so that DDS would know about the delay and try to prioritize the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Bob Z.

    Hi. In my Fully Favorable letter from the judge he recommended a review in one year but in the Notice of Award it stated that I will have three year reviews: which one is correct and why are they different?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bob,

      Probably the review will occur in three years because it is likely that the review schedule is the same in all the computer records. To get more information, you might call Social Security at 800-772-1213 and ask them to look at your Master Beneficiary Record to see when your review is scheduled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jamie K

    I had a kinda of strange court hearing yesterday. My attorney also said he had never had this happen to him in the 30 years he had been practicing. I go in front of judge, he ask me my name, social, birthday, age, and education. He then gives my attorney the go ahead to stay woth his questioning. The whole time I was being questioned the judge was messing with something in his desk drawer, making really loud noises. My attorney said he was finished worth his questions. The judge said ok did I wanna say anything else. He then said I’m closing the record. He also did not ask the VE any questions the whole time. According to the letter I received for court she was required to be there. So my question is does anyone have any idea what this could mean? He also didn’t give me any idea of how long it will take for decision. I’m so confused lol.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      If I were looking for the most positive explanation, I would say that the judge already made up his mind to approve you and it was too late for a decision on the record without a hearing. On the other hand, the judge may just have been having a bad day in court in which case who knows how your appeal will turn out. If you are denied, I would think you would have good grounds for appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • jamie kelsey

        Ok thank you for your reply. Im really hoping for the positive explanation, but your right you never know. I just found it strange for him or the ve to ask no questions whatsoever.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Jamie.

    • Thanh

      I have a question . I filed for ss back in march . I had a appointment with a dds doctor 8/6/16 . I call to check the status a few weeks later and was told that dds had made a decision on 8/26/16 and was sent back to the local and was advise to call my local office . Local office told be it was going threw a quality review n no payment can be made til they done . Didn’t really know that mean . But today is 9/19 and still haven’t heard anything . Does this mean I’m denied or approved . How long does quality review takes

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Thanh,

        A certain number of claims are picked randomly for a quality assurance review, which is review to see if the decision, whether an approval or a denial, was made correctly. Given that the local office said “no payment could be made” until after the review, I’d say that the decision was an approval. If the quality assurance review agrees, you will receive benefits. Otherwise, more investigation could be required or the claim could be denied. Usually these reviews are completed within a month’s time. If you don’t have a decision by the end of September, I suggest calling again to get a status.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Thang

          I called yesterday on the 22 n was told that I should receive a letter or payment by Monday the 26 September. I am so confused. But I think if I was to get a letter I would have it before the 26 . I’m guessing . Unless they wait the day of the 26 n mail the letter out or send the deposit. I just don’t know what to think anymore . I’m praying for an approval

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Thang,

            Social Security has the policy of not giving out decision information over the phone. I can say that if you haven’t get been notified of a medical approval, it is unlikely a payment would be made. The letter referenced could be an approval or denial.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • thang

            I do not know how to started a new post. but Monday the 26 . I didn’t receive anything no letter no payment no nothing . but I was instructed to call back if I didn’t . so when I called I was now told that my case is still in QR and that I should hear something by oct 26 . the dds told me decision was made over a month ago . oct 26 will be about 60 days. I’m started to track of all the dates now , but I think oct 26 will be 60 days from dds decision making. what should I expect on oct 26 ? some more run around a letter or what ?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Thang,

              Sixty days should be more than enough time for the quality assurance review to be conducted, so hopefully, you will receive your decision by October 26 or sooner.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Arani

                I had this same thing happen. 60 days passed, an agent on the phone told me that the deadline for the quality assurance review was a month passed and to contact the feild office. and my local feild office said that they didn’t know why they hadnt heard back yet from the quality review folks, and I should call back every two weeks. I’m living out of my car with my 6 year old waiting on this. Kinda ready to hear an answer. Any advice on what I can do in this situation?

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Arani,

                  Ask your local field office to send a notice of dire need to the quality assurance department letting them know that you and your six-year-old are living in a car and asking them to expedite the review. If you don’t get a decision in about three weeks after that, try asking your congressperson’s office to follow up for you.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

        • I was denied and am in the appeal process. I was told that I wad randomly picked for the adjudication team, which I was told wad a good thing. That I can be approved just by this team looking at all my medical info, and no hearing would be needed. If denied, it bounces back to me having to go in front of a judge. In so confused. I find it hard to believe that I was picked randomly to expedite a decision??? Any clarification??

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Geri,

            The Social Security Administration (SSA) is running an experiment to try to determine whether hearing appeals should have been approved earlier by DDS. They may be selecting claims randomly for this process. SSA’s goals in this experiment are to reduce hearing backlogs and to identify areas in which DDS examiners need additional training.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Tika B.

    Hello,
    So i went thru a phone interview and they assigned me to a determination worker. I recieved a letter in the mail stating i have a mental exam, due to them needing more info on my condition and i confirmed i would be going. My appointment was scheduled for tomorrow at 12:40, Today i recieved a letter from the determination worker saying not to go to the appointment because they have enough info to evaluate my condition.

    what is usually the next step?
    Do you think it will be approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tika,

      I expect you to get a decision soon. If it is not an approval, you can appeal possibly citing the agency’s own uncertainty about whether they needed more information for a correct decision. (Of course, that could not be the only grounds for appeal.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • jamie kelsey

        Hi Kay, Im sorry to post on a reply but I made a new post. At first said it was awaiting approval , but now I don’t see it anywhere.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jamie,

          Your question and my answer have been posted. Scroll upward through the comments on this article till you find it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Net

      Hi😌kay,
      Didn’t know how to start a news feed…
      I applied for disability for my son in April my claim was closed July 29th I went to ssi office and was told that my case was approved but I should be notified by mail. It is now going on 2 months and haven’t heard anything or received any notice in mail. Is this normal and how much longer will it take???😣

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Net,

        If child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim should have been paid by now. I suggest calling Social Security to be make sure that a payment has not been made and misdirected. If no payment has been issued, call 800-772-1213 to request an appointment for financial update interview so your child’s benefits can be paid. Point out that it has been two months since approval and no contact regarding getting payment started.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Kimberly Yarris

    Hello everyone I have asked a couple questions and have not received a response yet I’m not sure how long it takes to get one please help sincerely Kim

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kimberly,

      Your questions were answered on September 9 before you posted this inquiry. Try scrolling up until you find them. Usually questions are answered within twenty-four to seventy-two hours.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jamie

    Hello Kay,
    I’m from nc. I called to check on my daughter disability case from ALJ and they could not give me an decision over the phone but stated that it is closed and I should expect a letter from Baltimore in two weeks. Is this a good or bad sign? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      You will not know the judge’s decision on your child’s claim until you receive the letter. All ALJ decision letters are printed in the same regional location.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jarice

        My husband filed in June of 2016. He went to see a psychology doctor and he went to a consultative exam. He went to these doctors Oct. 2016 and we called and they said they were reviewing medical records. How long should it be before a decision is made to know rather or not he is approved or not?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Janice,

          It is hard to estimate when a review will be completed. If your husband doesn’t have a decision by the end of November, he could call the Disability Determination Services again and ask whether they can give an estimated time.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ivan

    I recently checked my disability status online and it says that they cannot process my request at this time. I can either call or check back later. When I log into my Social Security account it now shows my estimated benefits amount. A few days ago the status check gave me a response a decision has not been made and the account did not show estimated benefits. Does this mean that I have been denied and will have to request hearing?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ivan,

      Usually re-appearance of estimated benefits means that the claim has been denied. If that is the case, you will have to appeal to keep the claim open. If you have been denied only once, in most parts of the country the first appeal is a request for Reconsideration. If that is denied, then the second appeal is a hearing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ivan Carter

        The reconsideration was denied. Looks like I will be requesting a hearing. Finances are a wreck and looks like it will be another long year. So depressing.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ivan,

          Do your best to stay under the care of a physician and be sure that your medical records from the time to apply for the hearing and the time of the hearing reach the hearing office before the hearing. If you do not have an attorney, it might be a good idea to get one to help with the presentation of 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 your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Mrs. J

        Hello, I have a unique case. I applied for reinstatement of SSDI. I’ve been receiving provisional benefits for almost 6 months with no answer. I called yesterday because my online account showed estimated benefits again. I was told by the determination office a decision was sent from them June 23rd. The local office told me I was found disabled? Today the 1 800 number says I’ll receive my last provisional payment in September and to call back next week. The local office ( today) a different person says its at the payment center and I should get a letter by the 2nd week in September. However, wouldn’t give me an approved or denied. My online account still ( now) shows estimated benefits? What do you think?
        Mrs J

        • Mrs. J

          Just FYI, my account still shows estimated benefits. However, I’m being told that the payment center is working on my reinstatement. I will repost if this turns out to be false. In the interim don’t lose hope ( those of you whose accounts shows this). Keep your head up and fight on if you have truly worked hard and need the help from being truly disabled!

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Mrs. J.,

            Thank you for the update; however, I do want to note that your situation is different from a pending claim when no provisional payments were made, which is the case for most people waiting for payment.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mrs. J.,

          Based on the claim having been forwarded to the payment center, I would think that the claim has been medically approved, although usually the medical decision is revealed at that point.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Timm

        I had my hearing on August 23. I have had an attorney since day one.she told me after the hearing that it went very well and probably needed to get a bank account. I checked my d’s statement online today and it was showing my estimated payment. Since I didn’t check it before I don’t know if it was showing a pending status or not. My question is if it is showing a benefit amount on the statement after the hearing does that usually indicate a denial in your opinion?

        • Timm

          I’m assuming the benefit amount showed back up after my appeal was denied and had to go to a hearing. Didn’t know if it continued to show until a decision had been reached after the hearing with ALJ.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Timm,

            Please see my response to your first post of this date.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Timm,

          Sometimes the reestablishment of the benefit estimate indicates a denial; however, posting of information in online records does not seem consistent. I’d say don’t assume anything until you actually get the letter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Timm

            Kay,
            Sorry about the double post. Thank you for your response. The statement that I was referring to I got from SSA.gov. I don’t know if that makes any difference or not. Anyway, I appreciate your time and your input. I won’t assume anything until I get the letter. Waiting not so patiently. Thanks again.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Timm.

  • Hellen

    Hey Kay,
    I applied for ssi for my 5 year old under the category of autism. I applied in July and I called the 800number to check the status of my sons claim and the representative said a decision was made yesterday and to give it 2 weeks to receive a letter. He also asked me if my phone number was the same. Do you think this is a good sign?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hellen,

      It may be a good sign that the representative asked about your phone number because sometimes there’s a phone interview after a medical approval to update the family’s financial information. Don’t count on an approval, however, because the rep might have asked on a routine basis.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Charrell Smith

        I filedfor SSDI 2 months ago, my doctor filled out the RFC form and I also filled out the other paperwork in regards to my work history and all that kind of stuff. I called today to check on the status even though it only been 2 months and they told me that the decision was made yesterday. And I should be receiving my letter a question is it’s only been 60 days is that a good sign or a bad sign

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Charrell,

          The speed of a decision is not an indication of approval or decision, but it is good that you got a timely decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hellen

      Hi Kay,
      About a week ago I spoke to my son dds examiner and told me she had made a decission on his case. Today I received a letter from my local security office saying they needed his birth certificate which I had took it for them. My question is that due to my sons disability he’s not able to tolerate public places. I live with him and other kids. Is it a way that I could schedule an appt to turn his birth certificate again last time I was at the social security office for many hours

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Hellen,

        You can ask for an appointment, but you may not be able to get one to turn in a document. I suggest that you arrive at the office twenty minutes before it opens and wait outside so you are the first or close to the first one through the door. That way there should be either no wait or a very short one.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Deb

    Hi, my husband had went to court on June 2016 and the judge said it would take 4-8 weeks to get his letter and it has been longer then that, however he did receive a united healthcare card in the mail. when he went to court the voco woman told the judge that there were only 2 jobs he could do. but seeing how my husband does not read or write well and can not even operate a computer that there was no real job that he could preform, SO I wondering if he has been approved since he got the united healthcare card in the mail since we havent recieved his letter yet and his attorney has no information either?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Deb,

      The United Healthcare card sounds like an insurance card, not a debit card set up to receive payment. If the judge finds that the information in the claim and appeal file supports you husband’s limited literacy and lack of computer skills, he is likely to be approved based on the vocational expert’s testimony.

      Sincerely,
      Kay
      ey.

      • Susan V

        Dear Kay,
        I posted my question on 8/20/16 where do I find your reply?
        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Susan,

          Your question and my answer are under a different article. Here’s the answer I gave:

          It is possible that the judge wanted some medical documentation that was more current than what was in file when the appeal came to him.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Nicky

    Hi Kay,

    I had my hearing today I’m 32, I have degenerat disk diease and panic attacks with severe depression.
    I have been in pain management for 5 years and am on a high dose of hydrocodone and Xanax.
    I have very detailed medical recordsanf lawyer, also a letter from my pscystrist saying in disabled and gave very keep pounts and a very detailed letter to why and so fourth.
    The judge asked me the basic questions and my lawyer as well and then the judge started asking the person about job things kinda in code?
    They went from like 5000 then he would say and then hypothetical the gave a code then partial or something then it kinda got less and less. Then my lawyer came back w toleration or absents and panic and so forth.
    After he said it went well. He’s not much of a softy.

    What could all this mean to u? Approved chances to denied?

    Thanks so much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicky,

      If the hearing got down to the vocational expert saying that there are no occupations you can perform with frequent absences and panic attacks, the judge will approve your claim if he or she decides that the medical information supports the symptoms and limitations you claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tony S

        Hello i do not knkw how to start a new thread… i applied for ssdi on may 17 and was told today by the 1800 that my claim was sent for Quality Review after hanging up with them i called ny case manager she would not tell me the descion that was maxe before being sent to QR.. is this a good or bad sign?? Please help!?!?!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tony,

          Social Security does not give out decisions verbally, so it is routine that the examiner did not tell you the decision she made. Your claim was selected randomly for a quality review, which will either uphold the decision, overturn it, or send the claim back to the examiner for more investigation.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tony S

            Hello again sorry to ask so many questions i recieved an approval letter that says ive met the medical requirements… whats next im concerned and dont exactly know what to do

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tony,

              Notification of your approval will be sent to the local Social Security office and the payment center. If your medical approval was for both Social Security Disability (SSD aka SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the SSI will be authorized and paid from the local office; then the payment center will process and authorize the SSD. If SSI is involved and you have not heard from the local office within two weeks call the 800 number and request an appointment to provide any updated financial information that might be needed. If your claim is SSDI only and you have not provided bank account information and/or proof of your birth date, you also need to take that information and that proof to the local office, which can be done without an appointment.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Hello……if they ask me to sign work release form to compute my onset does this mean i got approved.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Ronnell,

              The request indicates that your claim will be approved if your work activity does not preclude approval. The work could be treated as an unsuccessful work attempt or it could be lower than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)and not affect the onset date you claimed or if the work is SGA, it could be enough work that an onset date would have to be after you stopped working. If the last situation is the case, to receive Social Security benefits you have to be insured on that onset date in order to be eligible for benefits.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

            • aneesha

              hello kay
              i applied for my son for ssi in july he was born on july 2 he is blind legally deaf an has to have a leg amputated also have something called charge sydrome i was approve on november 17 the person who process my paystubs an income told me i should expect a letter in a week an a payment on december 1 its now december 2nd an i havent recieve either i called social security an they told me i should recieve a letter in jan cause my case was randomly selected for something please help me understand better whats going on an how much will i recieve for my son me an my son dad income together is less than 3000 a month he makes 526 every 2 weeka im on call so i barley work now

              • Kay Derochie

                Dear Aneesha,

                Your child’s claim was randomly selected for a quality assurance review. When the review has been completed, benefits will begin. Back pay will go back to August. With $3,000 gross wages per month, I estimate that your child’s benefit will be $386 a month. Be sure to report each month’s wages by the tenth of the month whenever the earnings are different from the month before. Income received in one month affects payment amount two months later, so if you report on time, your child will always be paid the correct amount.

                Sincerely,
                Kay

      • Nicky Scott

        Thanks for your reply!
        It’s been about a month now and forgot to add we had to do a video conference with a judge in Georgia, cause mine was out that day.
        But I called the 1-800 for the social security and the lady said its pending. If I don’t hear anything by December to give them a call back?
        Is this bad or good? Do you think?
        It’s really driving me crazy.
        Thanks for your time.
        Nicky

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicky,

          The information you received is just a status report, not an indication of outcome. The guideline for judges to render a decision is sixty days, although it can take longer. I suggest you check again when it has been sixty days from the hearing to see if the appeal has progressed to letter writing department.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Nicky Scott

        Dear Kay

        They are now sending me for a pscy evaluation even tho I’m under the care of a pscy and he wrote a note to the judge.
        Is this bad? How can one doc tell the judge my life? What do you think Kay?
        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicky,

          I think the judge wants some confirmation that your psychiatrist’s opinion is valid. There is still a possibility of approval. It could even be that the judge is trying to determine whether you are capable of receiving your funds directly and managing for your self care.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nicky Scott

            Dear Kay,

            Thanks again so much for all your input. I wish I could hire you as my lawyer lol.
            I have read that the evaluationist is not always that great and most of the time will fail you.
            What are the odds with the Info I’ve gave you and what you have seen/heard percentage wise of me winning my case?
            I have total doctor support letter, both pscy and pain management ongoing for 5 years: high dosage of medications and severe issues. I have done and said everything they have asked and have all supporting documents.
            I just don’t know what else they want from me.
            It’s very scary to have one person/doctor make a decision about your life based on one appointment.
            Thanks again Kay.
            Nicky

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nicky,

              I can’t give you a percentage to assess your chances of being approved. I can tell you that people who have consultative examinations do get approved; not all are denied. If you are denied, given that you have a lot of medical records, you could be successful in an appeal. If you have to appeal, I recommend you request a copy of your claim file to find out the exact reasons for the denial. Also hiring an experienced Social Security attorney could be helpful.

              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 before they send your back pay to you.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Nicky

                Dear Kay,

                I do have a lawyer for my case. I contacted my lawyer because I got a letter in the mail saying they had admitted the CE exam into evidence. I asked him to look and he came back with the CE agrees you have some problems but is less restrictive than your psych opinion.
                Cause my psych wrote a full letter of support of my disability.
                So is this bad?
                Basically the CE gave me a IQ tests.
                But I’m not going for disability because I’m slow ? I’m trying because I’m in severe pain and Havd major panic and depression.
                Can you shine any light?
                Thanks so much
                Nicky

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Nicky,

                  Both your doctor’s opinion and the consulting physician’s opinions will be considered. I suggest that you discuss with your attorney the issue of IQ versus panic attacks and depression and ask if he can recommend any action to help mitigate the consultant’s report.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

    • Priscilla

      Hello. Didn’t know how to start a new post. I had a hearing with the judge on June 13, 2016. My attorney states that it went well. I have ptsd, anxiety, and depression. My attorney told me last Wednesday that the disability examiner agreed that I was disabled. Does that mean that the judge would approve my disability? And how long would it take for a decision? It’s been 60 days already. Thank you

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Priscilla,

        You can’t be sure of the decision on your appeal, but at this point there is no reason to question the opinion of your attorney who is very familiar with your claim.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Sharon

    Hi Kay – I applied for SSDI January 2016, I fell at work and broke my hip 10/2015. I went for my CE on 4/15/2016. I have a physical job as a tractor trailer driver, I have been doing it for the last 10 years. I am unable to do it now, I’m 54 years old. I received a call from my disability examiner back in June, she wanted the follow up records from my Doctor. I got them to her in 5 days. I have been calling for about 3 weeks leaving messages and can’t get her to call me back. I also go to a psycharist for depression and anxiety. I have active Crohn’s disease. I had a heart attack on 7/3/2016. My Primary care Doctor sent those records as well. I am on a bunch of meds and gets tired quickly where I have to take a break and lay down. My Cardiologist said there is “No chance for Recovery” at this time. Do you think SS is waiting to see if i get any better before they make a decision, since I have multiple things going on that prevents me from working? When the the grid rule come in as far as my age?

    Thank you,
    Sharon J

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      I think it is more likely that your claim has not been fully reviewed after the more recent medical information was added to the claim. Your age and most recent occupation together with your medical conditions would be supportive of disability, but your ability to perform occupations you performed before being a tractor trailer truck driver will be considered also.

      If you are denied, I suggest getting a copy of the denial so that you can see the exact reasons for the denial and tailor your appeal to those reasons. I also recommend that you hire an experienced Social Security attorney to help with the appeal. 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 your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Aris

    Hi,
    I had my hearing August 1 and felt a little unhappy. I suffer from anxiety, depression, anger and crying. I also see and hear things that aren’t there. I was told I have right side sciatica. The judge was very nice and seem to care. She was very patient and helped me remember times and dates. But at the end of my hearing she asked can I lift a gallon of juice. I told her yes but I would feel it in my back. The vibe I got from her didn’t feel good. Can lifting a gallon of water and the VE finding two jobs he think I can cause me a denial?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Aris,

      The testimony of the vocational expert may result in your claim being denied because you must be disabled from all occupations that you could otherwise perform if you did not have limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melissa

    I filed for ssi for my son a few months ago and then he was sent to go for an evaluation. August 1st i received a call from somebody from SSA claims unit saying they need alittle information about me and my son and that she has the decision as well. On your thoughts, what do you think about this and is there any possibility that he will be approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      If the call came from your local Social Security office and not the Disability Determination Services, I think that your son has been medically approved and that the call you received was to update your son’s claim related to financial eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Joyce

        Back in 2012 my son received benefits for a few months and then cut off due to my increased work j come . He is now 18 and I’ve applied for adult child benefits I guess and we’ve been to their doctor . I filed in April . I haven’t heard anything until today . I had a message from social security on my phone . They r closed today so I have to cal back Monday . I went a head and called number back . A decision has been made on the claim . I also went on line and it says the same thing . Do they call u if u r denied or is there a good possibility that he has been approved ?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Joyce,

          Your son has probably been approved, and the call is probably to set up an appointment for a financial update so benefits can be calculated.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Andrew Link

    I applied for ssi back in Feb. I was told that my case reached the dds last week, how long does it usually take for them to make the medical decision? It gets confusing due to the ssa site saying my claim has a decision but then i call and they say the ssa site if wrong. should i just wait for a letter? every time i call they seem irritated with me :/

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrew,

      Your claim should have been forwarded to DDS much sooner than it was. It can take a couple months or more to get the medical decision. The DDS examiner is likely to want a medical update if you have had any changes since February.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay Kay

    Hi I filed for disibility for my 8 year old who was diagnosed with ASD, anxiety, ocd, tourettes syndrome back in May. While I was applying in the office the lady gave me all the paperwork afterwards that had all the info from where I filed. The top page was a paper from the social security administration that stated my son may be qualified for benefits and that I needed to schedule an appointment to file. I found that very strange due to the fact that I was there filing. Is this something normal? Or does this mean my son will qualify for benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kay,

      The paperwork you got seems to be mixed up. I would have expected for you to get a claim receipt showing that you had filed a claim. The papers were likely computer generated and the representative may have hit the wrong automated choice. Nonetheless, I suggest that you double check that the claim has been filed and is pending in the Disability Determination Services.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Madeleine Bergeron

    Hi! I applied for SSDI in early May and received a function report and work history form I filled out both and returned them
    I spoke with the DDS worker recently and was told that my case was being packed up. I called the main 800# and that nice lady said letter was mailed and I should get it by Aug 2, 2016. Meanwhile my social security is all back together but still states I do not current receive benefits. Is this an indicator of denial? Thanks for your immense amount of information!
    Madeleine

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Madeleine,

      If by “all back together” you mean that estimated benefits are showing, your claim has probably been denied. Usually benefit amounts don’t show while the claim is pending; and then when payment is being released, exact amounts and dates show.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nikki

        I filed for social security in 2007, after being involved in a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident in late 2006. I was denied right off the bat, so I decided to get an attorney well long story short, after years of dealing with incompetent and bias doctors, a surgeon who commited fraud and is now in prision, a lawyer who lost my file, and a bias judge who in his defense was not given enough info to make a good decision to a judge who was seems to have me confused with someone else I am extremely frustrated to say the least.
        Now, I have a much better attorney, and with his help I refilled (because my last attorney let the time run out to do so) and am appealing that denial, which I received Dec 2014.
        I was told my apeal would take between 12 and 15 months, it has now been 18 months and both my new attorney and I have been calling to figure out what is going on, but just keep hearing it’s pending.
        Then Friday I finally hear something positive, I think. I have called both the review board in Falls Church VA and the 1 800 number for social security, but I always get a different answers, one says pending, the other says under review. Then the other day the lady told me it said pending, and I explained how long I had been waiting and asked how much longer I can expect to wait. She then told me she would send an email, which she did, but was having issues and suddenly says “favorable, what, I didn’t put that there, let me try again” She said she had never had that happen before, of course I said “it’s because that’s where it should be” and after 3 tries it kept moving her to the “favorable” file. We discussed it for a while, but she said she couldn’t tell me for sure it was favorable because the other still said pending. Have you come across this before? Doesn’t that seem to be a good sign that it has been approved? Why else would it pop up favorable?
        Thanks
        Nikki

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nikki,

          Unfortunately I can’t help clarify the inner workings of the Appeals Council’s computer programs, especially when the representative there could not explain what she considered to be an anomaly.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Brenda Carter

        So, I guess I will get a denial letter also.. My information is showing up and they have made a decision but I haven’t received a letter

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Brenda,

          That could be the case when benefit estimates appear again with no specific payment date. If it turns out that you are approved, please let me know.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Kevin

      Kay. I filed for Sadi in May. Received 2 calls on medical and clarified a few things. Then a few weeks ago received call about work history. I answered questions wrong I spoke of responsibilities not activity. She called a week later and we clarified what she was looking for. She send me new work history forms. I completed and called Thur and asked if I could attach a detailed work history/description. She said oh that’s great. She said attach, sign each page and put claim # in. I faced everything by noon Thursday Aug 4. I called Friday Aug 5 and was told we have everything, a decision has been made and you will get letter. They did not tell me decision.
      I looked at the original form I sent and realized the mistake I made. For standing, sitting, walking and all activities I put down 10 hours a day. They wanted an exact hour breakdown by day. It was obvious to me why the calls and requests.
      What do you think? It sounds like the activities were critical to their decision.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Kevin,

        I suggest that you wait for the decision letter because it is too late now to correct the record. Even though you made an error, the job description you sent may have been sufficiently clear. If you are denied and appeal, you can correct the information at that time.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Jenn

    I went to court for Ssi this past Thursday. She asked my attorney when my date of onset started since he didn’t come up with one she said she would. I’m assuming that’s a good sign? Then the vocational expert gave three jobs I could do and the judge asked if I could miss work once a week and still perform the job and he said no n that’s another good sign? I’ve been fighting for five years n that was my second court hearing. I’m stressing. Does it sound promising with those couple things I mentioned.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenn,

      The information you shared sounds promising for an approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jenn

        Thanks for your feedback. I will keep you posted.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Jenn.

      • Jenn

        I received a call from my attorney today saying I was approved but they changed my onset date to Jan of this year. I’m not going to fight it. I’m just going to take what they give me. How long should it be before I start receiving my benefits and the back pay? My hearing was on July 21st so it seems to be moving fast. Thanks again for your help.

        • Jenn

          Also I have a 2 dependent that’s not receiving benefits and my spouse will they get something too?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Jenn,

            If your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) is more than your own benefit, your children will be eligible for benefits. Your spouse may be eligible if he or she is age sixty-two or has a child of yours under age sixteen in his or her care and is not earning too much to receive benefits. Your dependents, if eligible, will be paid for the same months you are. (See my response to your first post).

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jenn,

          The only back pay you will get will be for July 2016 and maybe August 2016if they do not process payment much more quickly than usual. The reason is that Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) is not paid for the first five full-calendar months of disability (February through June). If you were approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI will begin) January 2016 if your disability date is January 1, otherwise SSI will begin with February. SSI will take from a couple weeks to six weeks to reach payment. Social Security is likely to be a two-to-three-month wait.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • L

    My claim was initially denied based on SS not using my diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis. I have been diagnosed with PA and have been seen regularly. The case file showed at a stage for light work, but not at sedentary? I filed the appeal myself, with an assessment (time/work restrictions) filled out from my physician showing less than 6 hours per day work approved and that I would miss many days per month due to imflammatory arthritis and others. I was told by an attorney that he would take my case but it would be at least 2 years to wait on approval and he has terminal people being denied and passing while waiting for their hearing. I work up to 15 hours per week, as able and have documentation from that employer, out of my field that I miss work, can’t work a regular scheduled and that they allow me flexibility with hours and allowed work because of my health concerns. The attorney wanted me to stop that and since I am used to making much more working in nursing the past 20 years, and on decent days when I can send a few emails out or a coupon out, and with the potential that he said it would be a 2 year wait if denied at recon…..I wasn’t going to quit a position that I can go without working when I need, work as I am able, and they completely understand and it’s always less than 15 hrs per week…..no where near the max SGA! I just decided to do the recon without the mentioned attorney, but still feel like with an attorney flat out saying they are denying terminal clients, leaving people to die waiting, my guess is even though I have been unable to work full time for 2 years this recon will be denied? My letter online just says there was no increase this year, it doesn’t list me as having an amount, and I check the status and it says all the time to check back. Recon was sent in 5/31, any advice?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear L.,

      Get a statement from your current employer that lists the special accommodations that you are getting. If “diagnosed with a PA” means a physician’s assistant did the diagnosis, try to get evaluated by a physician, preferabley a rheumatologist, both to confirm the diagnosis and to get a statement regarding your limitations.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • L

        Diagnosed with Psoraitic Arthritis, already see a rheumatologist, but my primary Doctor completes forms; specialists here do not. Employer sent in a letter with appeal. Any thoughts?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear L.,

          I suggest getting your rheumatologist records and submitting them.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Rhonda

        Kay,
        I called the National Social Security number in June and found out that my son was Approved April 28, 2016 for SSI benefits. The initial clam was started December 2015. I have not received an award letter, phone call or anything from my local office. I was told that the only person who could help me was the case worker who’s phone is set on do not disturb and even though she says she will call back in a couple of days on the voicemail message she doesnt. I have left her several messages over the last month and still nothing. Is this normal? Is there anything else I can do? I don’t want to have to wait for hours in the office since she probably won’t be able to meet with me as a walk-in.
        Thanks, Rhonda

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rhonda,

          I suggest that you go to the local office and be there fifteen minutes before they open. You should be seen in about a half hour that way. when your number is called ask to speak to a supervisor because you were medically approved for SSI three months ago and have yet to have a financial update interview or to receive payment and your calls are not returned by the claims rep. in charge of your claim. Be calm and courteous, but simply don’t leave until a supervisor or manager speaks with you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Vivian Gorman

      Hi Kay my hearing with alj was June 22 it’s now July 21 I haven’t heard anything yet but was wondering if you could maybe give me hope I’m 50 years old I have spinal stenosis, fibermyalgia, detering disc, depression buldging/ herniated disc I had a lawyer what are my chances of winning case?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Vivian,

        I have insufficient information to predict the outcome of your appeal. You might ask your attorney for his or her opinion. The guideline for getting a decision to you is sixty days, but it can take longer.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Vivian Gorman

          Hi Kay I was told today it went to the underwriter and I should hear something in about 3 weeks. I hope it’s good news since my last facet block injection I have been having pain down my right leg like numbing pins and needles can’t sit or lay down with our some kind of pain. Thank you for getting back to me.

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Vivian.

  • Suzanne Smith

    If my estimated earnings are visible again does that always mean a denial? I was told a descison was made on July 11. I checked on My SS and it has my estimated earnings again. Is that for sure a denial? Anyone else able to see earnings again and was approved. Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Suzanne,

      The online information going back to estimated earnings does not seem to reliably reflect the decision. I suggest that you check with your local office for clarification if you do not have a letter by July 20.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • brad

    I have a question. I have been waiting for an answer from seeing the judge over six months ago. my case says it closed on Friday the 1st of July and now I have my estimated benefits showing up online again. Also there is a letter saying I’m not receiving benefits like it always did. when I click on generate it doesn’t say I’m getting or not getting benefits. I’m just curious if this is good or bad since the letter still says not receiving and I have estimated benefits if I become disabled today.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brad,

      I can’t say for sure, but I think that the hearing decision may be a denial because estimated benefits show again online instead of a pending claim. Please let me know if that is not the case and you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • K

        Hi..sorry, couldn’t find a link for a new comment. My husband had hearing on June 17. VE answered no to two hypothetical questions…both for light work, his RFC is for sedentary work. ? Learned that his file is with a decision writer and may be going back to the judge this week. ODAR rep said to call back at the end of the week…which is four weeks from his hearing date. Do ODAR reps reveal decisions over the phone? Is the quick review more likely to be a denial or approval? How much weight will the VEs testimony carry? Thank you for your time. K

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear K.,

          ODAR representatives will not tell you the decision over the phone. How long the decision takes is not an indicator of approval or denial. The vocational expert’s testimony is quite important. It is possible the VE couldn’t locate any sedentary occupations that your husband was qualified for, so the testimony was about light occupations.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • K

            Thank you very much Kay for your response.

            In your opinion and experience, with the VE’s testimony of no with a higher than sedentary RFC for his qualified jobs, could it be an approval?

            Have you seen cases where the VE said no, but the case is denied based on other work available to the claimant?

            Thanks again for your time.

            K

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear K.,

              As indicated in my previous response, it is possible that the VE looked for sedentary occupations and could not find any given your husband’s educational and occupational history. If that is the case, his claim would likely be approved. Absent other vocational documentation in the claim file, the VE’s testimony is governing regarding the claimant’s employability. While a circumstance such as you describe could occur, I have not seen it.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • K

            BTW, he is one month shy of turning 51. If age comes into play with decisions.

            Thank you.

            K

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear K.,

              Age is considered in determining whether a person can work in a new occupation.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Tammy Konjer

            Hello i have a question about ssi… i applied for my disabled daughter who has adhd,odd,panic without acrophibia, depression and is learning disabled and mood issues she is a year behind in school because of her disabilities she was denied her first time so i appealed it and its been over a year but yesterday I received a letter saying they are reviewing the case to see if they can give it a favorable decision instead of going in front of a judge… does that mean there is a high possibility she will be approved the school said that she would not do very good on her own and she is 17 and she don’t understand things very well anyways hope u can help me thank u for your time…

            Tammy

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tammy,

              Your daughter’s claim has had a preliminary and limited review in which the claim was identified as having characteristics that might allow an approval without a hearing. If her claim cannot be approved based in the information in file, she will still get a hearing.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Karen

    I received a voicemail from Social Security this morning informing me that I should file a claim for benefits for my minor child right away. Does this mean that my SSDI claim has been approved? I returned the call, but have yet to receive a return call.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      Unless the children’s father also has a Social Security claim pending, yes, I would say your claim has been approved medically.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lauren

        I have a question…I became disabled in Jan.2015 and applied then for both Ssi and ssdi. I spoke with someone who told me I had enough credits for ssdi and what my income would be. In December 2015 I received a letter of approval for ssi stating that I was owed back payment and medical review is in 3 years. I’ve been receiving Ssi since then. Today I called to check on ssdi and was told it hadn’t been approved yet and was currently under the review board. Is this normal ?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lauren,

          Claims are picked randomly for quality review, but usually the review is of the medical decision and would hold up both the SSD and the SSI claims. While it is possible that a quality review is being conducted of the non-medical, final payment authorization, too much time has passed, I suggest that you contact your congressperson’ office, explain the situation and delay and request that they follow-up on getting your SSD payment started.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Lauren

            So if I’ve been approved for SsI does that mean my SsDi claim will ultimately be approved? They said the ssdi is still being reviewed and was sent from the DDS on 6/22, and has been sent to some office for a review of sorts. I’m just so frustrated.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lauren,

              Usually the medical decision for SSI and Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) is the same when claims are filed at the same time. However, if you were no longer insured for Social Security when you filed your claims, it is possible to be found disabled on the date your filed your claim but not earlier when you were still insured. So the SSD could still be pending.

              If you have been receiving SSI and then applied for SSD due to becoming insured recently, the medical review will be of your condition now. You could be approved for SSD and continue to get SSI, or it could be determined that you are not disabled, which would result in termination of your SSI benefits. If you get an adverse decision and you disagree, you can appeal.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Lauren

            I applied at the same time for both benefits, I’m just really confused.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lauren,

              Then the first paragraph of my prior reply applies to your situation.

              Sincerely,,
              Kay

          • Lauren

            My SSI benefits were suddenly stopped six months after being approved, I was told review would happen in 3 years. I didn’t get a letter or explanation.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lauren,

              Go to your nearest Social Security office right away to find out why benefits were stopped. Some sort of clerical error could have been made. If there was a decision to suspend or terminate your benefits, you have the right to receive a written notice and for sixty days after that the right to appeal.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Shell

            Hello Kay I didn’t know how to ask you a question so I had to hit the reply button, sorry. I received a medical approval letter for SSDI but when I go to the websiite and click check my status, it doesn’t say I was approved it still says “We are still examining the medical part… I also called the number and the number says the same thing as the letter. Which is correct? Thank you!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Shell,

              The written notification should be correct. Apparently, the online record was not updated. The call center at 800-772-1213 would be looking at the online records to respond, so they would say the same thing.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Mel

        Kay,

        I applied for disability at age 19 for bipolar disorder and was denied, never pursued it further.
        I am now 28 and have applied agaon for bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.

        I spoke with my DDS examiner who told me she would have a decision in a few days, and was in the process of completing a MIRS.

        My question is, why would she be completing a MIRS if I’m not on disability? Isn’t that only for continuing disability benefits? I’m so confused and I don’t know of this is a good sign of approval or not.

        Thank you,

        Mel

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mel,

          What does the acronym MIRS stand for? With that information, I may be able to respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Tonya Caines

          Hello Kay. I’m sorry I couldn’t find a link to post a comment, so I had to hit reply instead. I’m 37 yrs old and have been fighting for my ssdi for about 3 yrs. I have crippling scoliosis, seizures, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I went for my hearing on June7, then the alj sent me for a psychiatric evaluation July22, & the only thing I’ve heard since then is, my lawyer and I received a letter stating he received my reports for the evaluation and was reviewing them. Do the alj send claimants to an evaluation after their hearing often & do u know if it’s a good or bad sign? Thank u so much

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Tonya,

            I do not have statistics on the number of exams judges order, but it does happen occasionally. It is a good sign in that the judge is looking carefully at your appeal. Whether or not it contributes to an approval of your claim will depend on what the consulting physician found and reported.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Lenny

    If I apply for SSD online and SSI and RSDI a few months later, How many decision notices/letters should I be receiving in total?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      You would receive two letters each for SSD and SSI–one medical and one award letter with payment information–and one for the retirement benefit. (RSDI refers to the entire Social Security Insurance program of retirement, survivors, and disability insurance.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Aminah Majied

        What would the bold print titled letterhead read at the top of the notice regarding my SSD decision? Would it be: Social Security Disability or Social Security Disability Insurance?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Aminah,

          The header across the top for Social Security Disability award letters that provide payment amounts is usually “Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance.”

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Aminah Majied

            What if it wasn’t an award, what would the header across the top read if it was a denial notice for SSD benefits?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Aminah,

              The header would be the same.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Lisha Fields

        Hey Kay. Need your help. Had to jump on here. Need support. It’s certainly the most trying anxiety filled feature in my life. I suffered bilateral ankle fractures, comminuted calcaneal. recommended bolts, plates , but the ortho chose to put me in full cast, heal wrong, then do reconstructive sometime later. six months later, I’m finally walking again with a Walker, after months no weight bearing in a wheelchair and ortho boots in a nursing home. I’m 39. There’s also a depression, major, noted. I applied October 2015, denied February, 2016. They say, “although we don’t know what your previous work was, we believe u can do other work”. I felt that was an irrational conclusion to a false understanding of my condition and work history. I appealed immediately. Since, I’d become so desolate, never dependent before, I need my ssdi just to make it to the doctor and try to have surgery to then start to try to live again. I have severe functional defects in walking, standing, must keep elevation in my lower extremities, can’t go to a grocery store without serious aid in travel. My question, why, did they question my work history, when 1.06 in musculoskeletal listings of impairment, this is classified, and is a major joint. I’m approaching September, 12 months since it happened, and, finally got in touch with my adjudicator, and, seems like they are missing the fact it’s been 12 months almost bcz this is July, and it’s a listed impairment, and, I just don’t see the need to get to step 4 and 5 re work history. Last time I talked to the adjudicator supervisor, she said they had their doctors sign off on it, and it would b out of their office by Friday, July 1st. Sent back to the local office? Should I get an approval? If so, when will I receive anything? Do to hardships, how can I speed this understanding if i will get it, and then receiving of benefits up?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lisha,

          The events as you describe them would point to an approval, but there is no way to know until you get the formal decision. It can take a couple months for Social Security Disability (SSD) to be paid and longer if you are also approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are eligible for SSI, it will be calculated and authorized by the local office before the SSD. The SSD back pay will be reduced by SSI back benefits paid for the months you were eligible for both SSD and SSI. When you get an approval, you can submit a dire-need statement to the local office, which may speed up processing a little bit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Melissa Ortiz

    I applied for ssi for my 2yr old son that has Autism a speech disorder and a sensory disorder. My son recieves ABA OT and speech therapy. I applied June 13 2016. Yesterday i recieved a letter say he was approved for SSP and that his SSP bennifits will start in July and also another letter saying he was approved for Medicaid. Does these mean he was or will be approved for SSI? I’m confused i think its to soon to be approved what does this all mean? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Sometimes State Supplemental Payments are payable when federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not payable because family income is too high. You should receive formal notification of SSI approval or denial or denial soon. If you do not receive anything within a week or ten days, I suggest that you check with the Social Security Administration to get a clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melissa Ortiz

        Thank you Kate for your reply.. My son was approved for both SSI and SSP i did not think he would be approved so quickly. Maybe his case went so smoothly because i had all the documents and he was diagnosed 8 months ago there was a long enough paper trail. Ty

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Melissa.

  • LaQuitta

    Hi im anxiously awaiting another response from the courts after a second denial and a hearing. I feel like i’m losing my mind . Im fighting a losing battle with all the illnesses i have . In the last letter that I received from ssid it stated that I could work up to 20 hrs doing customer service work. Example working on the computer. I had experience doing that type of work over yrs ago. Now I cant sit or stand for long periods of times. It hurts when I try to was to dishes. So I dont. If the doctors state that you cant work or that you will need a break to lay down at least every mins, who is going to hire a person of that statue? The medications that I take have made me fall asleep while I was attemping to drive . So its either Im up three or four days and nights at a time and then all of a sudden the meds finially decide to drop down on me at once and work. I can no longer function like this! Im miserable -which is makikng my family miserabe. I wish I were dead most days. The illnesses that I have are not the type of one that impare the way you look. So WHAT!!!! I dont LOOK like there is nothis wrong with me . Im so tired of Life at this oint , i just wanna take my meds and sleep it all away. Then I take the meds and of course they dont work when I need them too, Who are the judgeds to say who is disablabled? Most times I dont remember the last few hrs , let alone my age and what I had for dinner last night . IM TIRED OF THE STRUGGLE

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LaQuitta,

      If you are not getting help from a mental health professional now, doing so might help some. Also, you might try to find a support group for individuals with chronic pain. Sometimes being with people who have the same experience can help.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • J

    Dear kay
    I called the office to ask about status of my claim and I was told I was favorable approved, the next day I received the notice I was approved for the medical part and to wait to see if I got approved for the nonmedical..Its been a month and I haven’t heard anything yet…how long should I wait for the second notice?

    • J

      I applied for ssi and when I called the office i got transferred to a person who told me to send my bank statements.Im also worried they might not have received my bank statements because I send them from my home mailbox.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear J.,

        Call the office and ask whether they have been received.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear J.,

      It is not uncommon to wait two months for Social Security benefits to start after an approval. If you were also approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is processed to payment in the local office, you should contact the office now to follow up.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • J

        I applied for ssi and its been a month since I mailed my bank statements

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear J.,

          I suggest that you call or visit the office to find out whether your statements were received because you previously expressed concern that they might not have reach Social Security. Hopefully, you mailed a copy or kept a copy so you can resubmit them easily if you need to. If they have been received, you can inquire how much longer it will be before payments are authorized and whether anything else is needed from you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • len

    Hello, my question is that I’m confused I haven’t received a letter or call about being approved for ssdi or ssi, but yet thevlhuman resources office called me about a medical statement about not being able to work( which is required and has nothing to do with SSA) but she also told me that I had a begin date for ssdi in march and I’m listed as disabled. She said it will go into avopen status when ssa has completed your file I called the local office and they said my claim is still being worked on. Can you explain this? I’m wondering if you heard this happening before. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Len,

      It is possible that you have been medically approved and the portion that is still being “worked on” is a final review of your insured status as related to your established date of disability and authorization of payment. You might call again to try to get clarification of where your claim is in the overall process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • heather diharce

        Hi my name is heather I suffer from neuropathy I’m only 30 I have the past 8 years of medical files showing everything mri findings etc the dds scheduled me with two doc appointments the physical doc appointment said he was recommending I b approved I have all the medical files he needed for his approval decision then they sent me to a mental exam he said I have slight depression which is normal for some one my age (30)my pain limits me. I also lack education badly I’m now unable to stand or sit for more then a few minutes at a time I called dds today she said my case was sent back to local office and was closed with her so I called local office they said they were typing letter and will send it out today but wouldn’t give me a answer I suffer from much more then neuropathy I also have degenerative disk disease arthritis tendinitis etc with your knowledge do u feel it will b approved?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Heather,

          I cannot say for sure, but letters generated from the local office are not usually medical denial letters. The letter could be requesting bank account information or other documentation to process a medical approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Laura

    Dear Kay,

    I have been out of work for several years. I also have medical conditions that have fallen within the guidelines of being deemed disabled, yet have been denied in the past. I am currently on HIP (Healthy Indiana Plan) for my medical issues. Today I received a letter from the state of Indiana that declared me “medically frail”. Will this help me to receive SSI and/or SSD?

    Thanks,
    Laura

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      I would think that a designation of “medically frail” would be helpful in obtaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI), assuming that you have a diagnosis that accounts for the fraility. However, current evidence of disability will not help you prove that you were disabled very far into the past as would be needed to get Social Security Disability (SSD). I suggest that you file a claim for SSI and at that time inquire the date you were last insured for Social Security Disability. That will help you decide whether you want to try to prove that you became disabled while still insured in the past.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Leanne

    Hi there! So, I was let go from my job in a small office on December 1st because of my many missed days/times due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Depression (lovely combination..NOT!). I filed a day or two after at the suggestion of my Rheumatologist. I found at at the beginning of April that I was denied (SS acknowledged that I have a disabilities…but that it is expected that I will be better within 12 months….news to me, since it’s only getting WORSE!!!!). Anyhow, I hired an attorney, who filed my Request for Reconsideration right around April 10th. I still have yet to hear on the request. Would you happen to know a time frame for them to respond to a request for reconsideration? Thanks in advance!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leanne,

      Processing times for reconsiderations varies quite a bit–from a month to four or five months. The closer it gets to twelve months with no medical improvement,the better the chances for approval and not having to file a request for hearing. Be sure that you stay under the care of physician during that time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Leanne

        Absolutely! (I’m at the doctors at least once a week at this point!). Thanks for the response!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Leanne.

    • Shaina

      Hi, sorry I am replying to this post rather than starting a new one. I can’t seem to figure out how. My boyfriend has been anxiously awaiting his disability review decision for almost two months. He has several extreme anxiety disorders and nothing has improved for the past 5 years. He regularly sees doctors and has been told that he has little to worry about, but of course that can’t assuage the fears of anxiety. He finally received a letter today stating that they are reviewing his case and will let him know if they need more information. Is this a standard letter just to let the person know their case is being reviewed? Could it possibly mean that he may not get it? Thank you

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shaina,

        The letter is just a routine status letter and not an indication of either future approval or denial.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Victory2016

    Does this sound favorable! Waiting for decision is making my anxiety worse. How do you deal with the waiting period.

    I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Graves Disease and Hypothyroid. I basically had job burn out/mental breakdown in December 2012 ever since then I have been a mess and have not been able to work due to all my symptoms and side effects of medications. It took 2 years for my hearing.

    My hearing lasted about a half hour and my lawyer asked all the questions and the judge asked a few. After two Hypotheticals for jobs the VE said no jobs. After we walked out my lawyer said she thinks I will be approved. She has been in front of this judge before and is familiar with him. Should I take that as a good sign from my lawyer that I will be approved.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Victory,

      There is no reason to question your attorney’s professional opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lenny

    What if my decision letter does not have the regional commissioners name and address on it, or the explanation of determination is not signed and dated by the examiner?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      The examiner’s do not sign the determination because it is a determination from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Different letters come from different offices so they have different sources in the return address. If you think you received false correspondence, which is unlikely, you can take it to a Social Security office to have them verify that SSA sent it to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lenny

        When I meant examiner signs, I meant with an alphanumeric signature. Is it a standard rule that all explanation of determinations be signed and dated by the examiner?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lenny,

          If you were to get a copy of your claim file, the file would contain the determination memo with an indicator of who made the decision, but not the name; however, the letter of determination you receive is from the Social Security Administration not from an individual. Who makes the decision is not relevant to an appeal if you are denied.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Aminah Majied

            Should my online SSD claim number (the one used to check the status) and the claim number on my Disability Determination Explanation be the same?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Aminah,

              When you set up a My Social Security account, it is set up under your own Social Security number. The number on the award letter is the number on which you filed the claim. If you applied for SSI or for Social Security benefits on your own earnings record, it will be your Social Security number followed by one or more letters. If you filed on a spouse’s or parent’s record it would be their number followed by a one or more letters. The letters indicate what kind of claim you filed.

              You have asked several questions about the format of correspondence from Social Security. If you think you have received false correspondence, I suggest taking the letter to your local office to find out whether it was in fact sent from the Social Security Administration.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • My disability examiner told me last week she received the rest of the doctors report she asked for.and would be reviewing them that day and she will call me on Monday or I call her.she had also told my mother she would be sending her some kind of paper which she never got and I never got a call..I haven’t called either I thought maybe she will call by my deadline which is July 15.if I call examiner that seems like a denial what do you think?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Shon,

          I suggest that you call the examiner and ask whether she still needs the statement from your mother and if so ask that it be sent out again. Since she invited you to call if she didn’t, there should be no harm in calling. Her not having called you is not an indication of denial. Usually decisions are not made over the hone. A side note that there are processing guidelines but no real deadlines.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lenny

    When Social Security sends a letter of decision, is “Copy sent to: (your attorney /advocate)” supposed to be printed on the lower left corner of the letter?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      I am responding to your three posts about Social Security letters. The governmental bodies you referred to are appropriate sources from which Social Security notices are sent. If your attorney was sent a copy of a notice, the carbon-copy-to-attorney annotation is routine.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lenny

    Is the family maximum benefit under SSDI, separate from the SSD benefit payment to the claimant?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      The family maximum benefit (FMB) includes the worker’s SSD benefit, which is called the primary insurance amount (PIA). For dependent benefits to be payable, the FMB has to be more than the PIA.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lenny

    If I’m approved for SSD and SSI what is the family maximum benefit that I can receive from both programs combined?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      A family maximum benefit is a Social Security benefit that include the disability (or retirement) benefit paid to you and any additional amount payable for your dependents. The amount is based on your work history. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs based program. If your assets are below the limit, you can receive SSI if your Social Security is below $753 and you (and your spouse if you are married and living with your spouse) do not have other income that puts you over the SSI limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lenny

    If i appeal a SSI denied claim while my SSD claim is still pending, Can my SSD still be approved? How does the denied SSI claim affect my original SSD claim if I filed the application 3 months before filing the SSI application?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      If your SSI was denied because you had excess income or assets, the SSI denial has no bearing on your Social Security Disability claim.

      Sincerely,
      kay

  • Lenny

    Who sends me to a CE exam? who should be notifying me? Social Security, or the Determination Service? Should it come as a letter? Should my social security # be listed as the case #on the letter?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      The Disability Determination Services (DDS) is the entity that would request a consultative examination if one is necessary. Sometimes the request will come by phone; but if it does, it should be followed up by a letter with all the details. I don’t know whether full Social Security numbers are being shown on the letters or just the last four digits or a DDS control number.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lenny

    If I apply for SSD online and then 3 months later retain an attorney (who advised me) for filing a SSI and title II applications, How will it be handled with Social Security?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lenny,

      Based on what you have said, you already have a Title II (SSD) claim pending. I suggest you check with Social Security to see if you also have an SSI claim pending. Also, talk with your attorney about what you have already submitted to see if he or she has advice on submitting any additional evidence for the pending claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shelley

    Hi,

    I first filed for SSDI in March of 2011 in conjunction with federal FERS disability retirement from my career. I moved around a bit and missed my initial psychiatric evaluation. Ended up having to refile. I was denied, appealed, went to hearing, denied, and upon full review, denied. They wrote a very long opinion and stated that I met the requirements of the disability but because I had been drinking a lot they could not tell if the alcohol was a contributing factor and determined if I quit drinking I would be able to function. In reality, I wasn’t drinking that much but when they sent the questionnaire about it I was that week. All that wrapped up in March of 2013. Also, I stopped drinking in 2013 and haven’t drank since and I am actually less able to function than I was. But because I was denied SSDI, I worked waitressing for about a year and a half (October 2013 – December 2015). This was 4 different jobs and I did not do well in any of the jobs. Lots of writes ups and performance issues (I should say that I had a long career as a paralegal and HR specialist before I crashed due to a number of stressors and have not been able to recover). I have bipolar disorder and complex PTSD. After I wasn’t able to work at even the waitressing jobs, I re-applied for SSDI in August of 2015. In December 2015 I was denied, however, they did not receive the report from my psychiatrist. So I filed for reconsideration and made sure they got my psychiatrists letter and I included some of the write ups from the waitressing jobs showing that my functioning was poor. They began their reconsideration on March 6 of 2016 (I filed the reconsideration on December 8, 2015). They have been reviewing my reconsideration for over 3 months and I call and leave messages but they don’t return my calls. So I just call the 800 number occasionally and they tell me the same thing each time that if they needed something they would contact me and they have no way to know when the review will be completed, but I will receive a letter either way.

    Do you think it’s a good sign for me that they have spent so long reviewing my reconsideration?

    And, I put my date of disability as the day after the date of my last denial March of 2013. But since I worked some between October 2013 and December 2015, do you think they will change my disability date?

    • Shelley

      I’m sorry the above question is so confusing. To correct this: I waitressed from October 2013 – December 2014 (i kept putting 2015 above). Four different jobs, all poor performance. Some months I made over what social security allows (If they would go back to March 2013 as disability start day, would or could they skip over the months I made more than they allow???

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shelley,

        Please see my response of a minute ago to your first post.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelley,

      If you held each of the jobs less than three months and lost the jobs due to your mental illness, the periods of work should be treated as unsuccessful work attempts and not affect your disability date. If you worked some jobs more than three months but less than six, the work may also be considered an unsuccessful work attempt and not advance your date of disability. Accordingly, if you have not submitted the exact dates you started and stopped each job, try to get proof of that from your former employers. If any of the jobs were less than six months, submit the dates and assert that they were unsuccessful work attempts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Shelley

        Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Shelley.

  • Rachelle

    Hello! I worked for a public school system that uses DDS to help make retirement disability determinations. I have a chronic case of ITP and a number of other things going on with my immune system. DDS approved my retirement from my job, after sending me to the doctor. This doctor also happens to be a SS doctor. I applied for SSD the day of my retirement. What are my changes that DDS will then approve my SSD seeing as though they were the very ones who retired me from my job of 24 years?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachelle,

      Every benefit program and insurance policy has a different definition of disability, so different criteria are likely to be applied. Social Security’s definition of disability is “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.” To get an idea of the similarities and differences you can compare this definition with the one that was used for your disability retirement from your job.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lisa

      Kay,

      You have been such a great help to me I don’t know how to thank you!

      I am hoping you will answer a couple more questions for me and hopefully I won’t have to bother you so much.

      1) In case you don’t remember I am a fifty one year old widow. I lost my husband last Thanksgiving Day in a horrible car accident. I have been receiving food stamps ( never before), but no other help except from loans from family. Ok. to my question , I got approved for SSI, the amount is 488.00 per month and I am THANKFUL but I was wondering is it because I draw food stamps? I thought the amount would be 733.00. I am also suppose to received some backpay from SSI. I lost my Husband last NOV , filed for ssdi, ssi, and widows benefits in DEC of last year. They said I would receive backpay from ssi this week and then starting June 1st 488.00 per month ssi. Will I receive medicade? Also, he said I was approved for disability widows benefits that should start in June or possibly July, does Widows Benefits pay back pay? If they do, will I get any and from when, I lost my husband in NOV, filed in DEc of last year and now this is where I am. I am still BROKE but hopeful.

      2 MY mom is is also a widow , she is sixty seven but it still working and NOT disabled. She lost her husband about 4 years ago, they had been married 12 or 13 years. He got Cancer and we lost him very fast. She received a letter dated the day BEFORE her husband pasted away. She is drawing Social Security but not much because she did not work while she was marred to him Does she qualify for Widows Benefits or anything else?

      I am SORRY, I probably should have put this in two post.

      P.S. What does DI XLT stand for?

      I have tried to look these questions up, but I get all confused.

      Oh, and back to me [ how far back will I get back pay ? Reminder, lost husband in Nov, filled in Dec and just told I was approved for SSI ( disability) and then it will change to Widow Benefits sometime in August. I don’t have the August in writing so it makes me a little nervous.

      I am sorry for so much in this one question and for hitting reply again. I don’t know how else ot do it. Thank you so much for help.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lisa,

        The $488 payment rate is due to the financial help you are getting, not the food stamps. You will get SSI back pay back to January. You will be paid disabled widow’s benefits for November and December. You will continue to be eligible for disabled widow’s but will receive back benefits for 2016 only if your widow’s benefit is more than the SSI back benefits paid for the same months. (The widow’s will be paid after the SSI).

        Once you receive your SSI back pay, if you can start paying for your own shelter expenses and do not receive cash help from relatives, you can report the change and receive and increase in SSI beginning two months later.

        Where did DI XLT appear?

        As to the question about our mother, she can apply for widow’s benefits based on age. If her husband was insured and the benefit is higher than her own, she will be switched to widow’s benefits. If her current benefit is less than $753, she can apply for SSI based on age.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • sharon

    Hello, I applied for SSDI back in November or December, for my recently diagnosed schizoaffective disorder. I have some medical records for the past six years, and you can see my (once nice career) work history get more sparse throughout the past six years, but was told it was enough to get SSDI. I claimed my work problems were due to bullying, unfairness, slow government updating my clearance, whearas part of it could’ve been due to my disease that they used to think was paranoid schizophrenia. The work did require a clearance, which I didn’t lose because of my mental state yet, but lost to unforseen circumstances and I wasn’t in a field that was good for my disease, although working and socialization is good for me. I was told I was too highly functionable unlike other severe schizophrenics to be considered impaired although and that I could go do vocational rehab through the VA, but I’m not service connected so I can’t get vocational rehab and was rejected for VA benefit payments. These past six years I’ve been underemployed and the paranoia does get to me at least once a year and it turns out embarrassing, wheras I was never a trouble maker before. I’ve gone from salary to being unemployed or underemployed with jobs I feel bullied in and things get too loud (the hallucinating). I was encouragaed by friends family to apply for disability because they noted I had been acting different in the past few years. I was in denial and trying to be strong and hide it, distract myself, saying working helped me, but couldn’t stay employed. So now that I’ve calmed down and have a less severe diagnosis other than schizophrenia, I don’t seem to be be employable (at least in a job where I can support myself without hallucinating) nor do I seem to fit into the disabled category, so I have nothing to work with.
    I was told there wasn’t enough medical history, so I went to get evaluated by a psychologist that social security hired to evaluate me. It lasted over and hour and she was very kind and said “she didn’t know why I wouldn’t be approved, but in the rare chance I don’t to appeal it.” Then she sent her report off in April. I called today and they told me they made a decision on May 5th and that it was in the mail and that they couldn’t tell me the decision. Nothing is different on the SS website, as it says I don’t have benefits so I’m nervously waiting on the mail and no one has called me yet. I was hoping the disability would get me the start I needed again, since I’ve lost most of my belongings and vehicle and possibly I could go back to school (although that makes my case looks questionable since it’s mental), but I wanted to try school and be self sufficient again and see how I can concentrate. Nursing is practical, but I heard that they may have laws banning people with my disease from being a nurse, but I also heard it depends if you’re able to maintain it. I’m afraid of living on a fixed income, but nervous of being rejected for SSDI and uable to start life again and never being an independently functioning adult again. I used to always feel greatful for my career if others things went bad and was thankful for my independence so that I wasn’t vunerable so I never felt stranded. Currently I live with my parents again and their are nine people in the house. I haven’t worked for nearly one year and have been sleeping in the closet and so I’ve been searching the internet for any clues that I may be approved or rejected. I know I’m not in a healthy situation and the isolation makes me worse, so I was hoping with the disability I could move to live near my relative where the VA hospital (access to the suggested weekly therapy) is much closer and they have a more integrated public transportation system and I could attend classes to socialize and occupy my mind because isolation makes it and the paranoia worse.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      You should have your decision letter within a week. Benefits will not show up on the website until they are calculated. That takes a while after the medical approval. If you are not a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, you will not be eligible for medical care there; however, many cities have low-cost mental health clinics. I suggest that you research to see if your area has one. You might also apply for Medicaid at your county or state social services office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sharon

        Thank you Ms. Kay,

        I am a veteran and go to the VA. Someone at the Social Security Office informed me that it looks like I was approved and that I should had recieved a notification via mail. I waited to receive mail, but none came, so I called social security again. This time they told me they couldn’t tell me if it was approved or denied and that it was randomly selected for DOB Quality Assurance Review so whether or not it was denied or accepted, the DOB could overturn any decision so I’ll have to start my life again in another month or two.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sharon,

          Given that you were first told your claim was approved, the initial decision was probably an approval. Now you just have to wait to see if the quality assurance reviewer agrees with how the decision was reached.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Sharon

            Thank you Ms Kay,

            I called SS again today and they said they’d send me the decision letter in 15 business days, but they wouldn’t say this time if it was in quality review. After I receive the decision letter, then they said I’d recieve the reply from my local social security letter 60 days later after the first letter. Does that mean it’s not in quality review? And not to sound selfish, but will their be backpay?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sharon,

              I can’t be certain, but your claim may have been medically approved with the first notifying you of that decision and the second letter being the award letter with payment calculations. Whether or not you have back pay coming depends on when you became disabled and when you applied. Social Security Disability benefits begin to accrue the later of twelve months prior to the month of your application or the sixth full calendar month after the disability onset date established by Social Security.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Sharon

            Thank you Kay,

            Yes they called me one week later to tell me I had been approved. They took down all of my information including bank information and living conditions again as they did in the beginning. They also said I had back pay coming and said hopefully I would start receiving payments within the month if they got it in in time.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Sharon.

      • Chenell Coleman

        Hi Kay,! My son has been disabled since the age of 5 with a condition that’s called mi!d mental retardation. When made 18 he was taken off of Ssi. Recently I applied for him to get it back and he has already seen a person to determine if he is disabled and the case has been sent back to the local office to receive more evaluation and the office has already sent me mail stating that they need to see him at there office and to bring his I’d and birth certificate. My question is I still have no clue if this mean he’s been approved or not. Do you know what happens at these appointments and do you think he has a good chance of winning the case. And will get his Benefits he hasn’t Received the past three years.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chenell,

          If the claim has been sent back to the local office and financial, not medical, information is requested by the local office, I would say your brother has been medically approved and the appointment will consist of a financial update back to the date of application and possible a payee application if he needs assistance managing his funds. If his claim has been medically approved, his benefits will begin to accrue the month after the month the last application was filed unless he filed on the first of the month in which case benefits will start with the month of application because SSI does not pay retroactive benefits for months before application.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sharon J.

    Hi Kay – I applied for SSDI on 1/16 and became disable 10/15. I went to the CE for a mental exam on 4/16. I am waiting on the results of the evaluation to go back to my local DDS office. My original file went to Mississippi Dept. of Rehabilitation Svces. I am over 50, have an impairment, meet a listing on the grid rule and have been on medication for depression. I sent in a ton of medical records with my initial application. I received a call today 5/5/2016 from my Disability Examiner in Mississippi at the Rehabilitation Svce Center. She asked when was I going back to my Doctor? I told her that I had an appointment on Monday. She said to be sure and have my Doctor to send in the medical report from my follow up visit. My question – is this a good thing? Does it look like a determination will be made soon? Once she get that from my primary Doctor and the results from the CE Exam, how much longer do you think it will take before I know something?

    Thank you for all of your help! You are great…

    Sharon J.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      I would say that you are close to getting a decision, hopefully within a month of the examiner receiving Monday’s chart note.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • john

        A approval from department of human services for Medicaid the same as the approval for ss Medicaid?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear John,

          I think you meant to say SS Medicare. Medicare and Medicaid are different government health insurance programs and have different coverages. You can become eligible for Medicare at age sixty-five or after receiving twenty-four months of Social Security Disability (SSDI), Social Security surviving spouse or disabled adult child benefits. Medicaid is a needs-based government insurance program.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • john

            Do it mean you are approved for ssi?? If Yu get Medicaid

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear John,

              There’s more than one way to qualify for Medicaid. If you filed a Medicaid application or a health care provider did it for you, being approved for Medicaid would not necessarily be a sign of being approved for SSI.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Penny

    A judge recently favored my disability claim so now I am in the waiting process of receiving SS benefits….. I retired from my federal job under FERS disability in Aug 2015 at age 48. I was on LWOP, unable to work for over a year from June 2014 until retiring in Aug 2015. I filed for SS disability in Sept 2014 but it was a long 19 month process being that I had to file an appeal. (I have worked a couple jobs totaling 30 years).
    I drew 60% of my high three averaged, first year and now draw 40% under FERS Disability through OPM. (Office of Personal Management for Gov. employees)
    My question is what can I expect, and being that I was already drawing the same percentage under FERS disability, is there any advantage to being approved for SS? I don’t fully understand the first year OPM offsets my benefit 100% of SS benefit and second year 60% of SS (Offset). Will I have to pay SSA what I was paid through OPM? Can you please explain that a bit better so I can understand. Thank you kindly in advance to your reply.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Penny,

      I am not an expert on government retirement plans so I do not understand the two-tiered benefits that you describe. My understanding of government retirement pension offset against Social Security benefits is that if your civil service earnings were not taxed for Social Security, the Social Security benefit will be reduced so that the two benefits do not exceed 80% of your average monthly earnings as established by SSA. I would expect Social Security to be reduced before it is paid so there would be no overpayment of Social Security. I suggest that you check with OPM to find out if receiving federal disability benefits rather than retirement means different rules apply.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lisa

      I am sorry to use reply and I lost your board – Kay – So, thank you for help with my last question.

      Now, I have a new question. I am 51 and disabled – I drew disability from 2001 – 2010 ( SSDI) – well, my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and I was spending as much time with him as possible and did not fill out my updated paperwork for disability and I lost it. I lost my dad, step dad of 20 years, the list could go on how bad the last 5 years have been. So, I never refiled – well I tried once and I didn’t have the mental strength to finish the process. Anyway, my world REALLY fell apart on Thanksgiving Day 2015 when I lost my husband of 33 1/2 years. I called disability and they said I had to apply for ssdi, ssi, and widows benefits. So, I done a phone interview, next step filled out the paperwork in asap, then after a long period of time they sent me to a phyctrist even though I had been seeing mine for over 20 years. Anyway, done his test. Then on April 19,2016 I received a confusing letter. SSDI, SSI, and Widows Benefits was the Letterhead, but part of the letter sounded like I was approved for all 3 and part of the 5 page letter sounded like I was approved. So, I called and they told me to disregaurd the letter that it has went to quality review. Everytime I call SS and I have even went into my home office I am told something different. I will say Quality Review is what I have heard the most. They have all told me to wait 60 days for a decision. Well, that concerns me because if I wait 60 days – then I will give up my appeal if I understand correctly. So, I guess I have 2 questions – should I wait the 60 days before getting an attorney and how long does quality Review normally take? I live in Missouri if that helps. Oh, and does this sound good or not? I now regret not going to an attorney. I just wasn’t in my right mind after I lost my husband. I thought since I had it before it would be easier to get and I did not know you could not get widows benefits unless you were disabled when I filled – if you are 51. Sorry so long and thank you in advance for any help you can give me. I am getting desperate for money and I have told them I have received an eviction notice. IT doesn’t seem to phase them. Thank you again.

      • Lisa

        I need to correct something in my post. The 5 page letter – part of it sounded like I was approved and part of the 5 page letter sounded like I was NOT approved. The disability office told me it was a denial – but, to disreguard the letter because it had went to quality review. My home office said they did not see the letter so I called the 800 number to SS and they said yes the letter is their and it was a denial but, to disreguard the letter ( again – different person) that it was in quality review. I am sorry for a double post on the same thing, but I realized I made a mistake about the 5 page letter. The lady on the phone told me no decision had been made, but it looked good. Then she told me she could not tell me if I am approved or not. Is it time for me to get an attorney in your opinion? Sorry, I wrote more about just the 5 page letter, I am just extremely nervous and scared. I am broke.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lisa,

          Please see my prior response. Because the decision you received has not been finalized, if the QA review is results in a denial, you should be given appeal rights and a new appeals period.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lisa,

        Your claim was randomly selected for a quality assurance (QA) review. The approval decision you received is not final until it is confirmed in the QA review. If the review reverses the approval, you will get a new denial letter with appeal rights. The sixty-day appeal period will begin with the date on the denial letter. You do not need an attorney now. If you are denied, then get an experienced Social Security attorney to help with the appeal.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Lisa

          Thank you Kay – does it sound like the 5 page letter was a denial? It said in one place a denial and another place ( like I was approved with a onsite date of Oct of 2013) The letter was extremely confusing. Now, they are saying a decision has not been made and it is in quality review – but, do you think it was a denial letter and if so does this mean it will probably be denied? I just can’t keep going – I am very close to being homeless I am scared. Oh – On the letter after my SS# it had the letters HA – What does the HA stand for after the SS#. I have tried to find on the internet and I can’t. In MO if I am denied I will have to get an attorney how long do you think that process will take. I apologize for asking so many questions and bothering you so much but I am extremely worried. Thank you again.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Lisa,

            I would have to read the letter to determine whether it is part approval and part denial. I suggest you take the letter to Social Security and ask them to explain it to you. HA means disabled worker or a claim (not necessarily approved) by a disabled worker. (An A would follow a retired person’s Social Security number.) You have sixty days to appeal by requesting a reconsideration. A reconsideration decision can take two to five months.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Randy

      Hi Kay, I first became Disabled in 1988 while in the Army. I never knew right away in 1988 too apply for VA or SSDI. In 2005 I finally applied for SSDI. The SSA said I couldn’t because of credits. So the SSA sent me to a PHD. Who stated I was Disabled from the Army. I was approved for SSI in 2006. After I got approved the SSA told me I needed to Apply for my VA Disability In 2009. In 2012 I was approved and I am now 100% P&T IU through the VA. So getting approved for my VA I had to end SSI cause the VA amount was too high. After researching for years I found out that I should be getting SSDI.
      So I applied and got denined. I’m on Reconsideration right now. From 86 to 89 I had 25 credits at this time only took 6 to get approved , and I was insured till 98. So they want all info from 88 to 98. I turned In 4 inches of new evidence. Plus evidence they already had. Problem is in 1988 to the mission 1990’s all my mental health records were shredded. This mental health clinic was nice enough to write a letter stating that all my records prior too 2002 were shredded. I have other proff from mid 1990’s too now. I just got my letter today from the DDS stating who my reconsideration worker is. I still have two VA mental Health workers one every 2 was and other every 6 wks.
      I have always seen mental health clinics since 1988. I have Severe Chronic PTSD, Anxiety, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, Depression, BI-Polar. All documented for years and years.
      The SSA/DDS are just interested in 1988 to1998 years…. what’s your opinion on this? Thank you

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Randy,

        To get Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), you have to prove that you became disabled while you were still insured, that is, at least as early as the last month in 1998 that you were insured. You say that you have some proof from the mid-1990s. If it goes back to 1998 and shows that you were disabled then, your disability would be established while you were insured.

        To receive benefits, you also have to prove that you have been continuously disabled from your established disability date in 1998 or earlier up to present because SSDI benefits are limited to the twelve months before your current application.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Randy

          Kay, Thank you !!

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Randy.

  • nathalie

    Hello, I applied for SSDI after 20 years of trying to deal with my issue, my family advised me to, my question is am I disabled, i suffer from agoraphobia, ptsd, gad,( oa) arthritis, claustrophia, specific phobia and gerd I notice I’m worse to the point where I just couldn’t get up to go to work, a few weeks after the phone appointment my family got calls from the case worker at the disability determination office is that a good sign

    thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nathalie,

      The calls to your relatives were to get statements from them about whether they observed any signs of mental illness and whether they could make statements about your daily activities. It means that your claim is actively being worked on. If you are not under the care of a mental health professional, you should get care as soon as possible both for treatment and to support your claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Terra K.

    I filed for SSI and SSD back in the beginning of Nov. 2015, Interview was done over the phone. Additional packets mailed filled out and returned in a timely manner. I waited the 90 days. Called a few times to inquire about my application since I had not heard anything. Then got a call that they were lacking my medical records when I signed the release. Waited a few more weeks and was mailed an appointment for an exam and additional information. I did the exam today, the doctor spent all of 5 minutes for questions and exam which is not nearly thorough enough for 10+ conditions before telling me that he was done and disability would get back to me but couldnt tell me a realistic time frame before I hear back from SSD about approval or denial. In the mean time my medical bills are still racking up and I have no income. Am I going to have to wait another 90 days to hear anything or am I done with playing phone tag and paperwork yet on my end? How long does it take after the exam has been done?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Terra,

      I can predict how much longer you will wait for a decision, but given that you say you have ten conditions to evaluate, I would say it will be at least a month and quite possibly longer. You are asked for information, documents, and an exam so that your claim can be fully evaluated; so if you are asked to provide anything else, be sure to do so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Terra K.

        This is my first time filling, an initial application. I was initally told it can take upwards of 90 days to make a determination when I applied though it is going on 6 months at this point. I understand that SS has to be thorough when it comes to making a decision especially since I am only 31 and have applied with mutiple conditions that have to be weighted into consideration. Though I can’t wait around for months, that I may not have. The most severe condition I have had to file over is Polycythemia Vera which is a rare incurable blood cancer. I am having to seek care at a non profit hospital by a sliding scale PCP because I can’t afford proper care and unable to work. Without access to proper care the complications and other conditions that PV causes, I am at high risk of becoming a fatality statistic within 12 to 36 months. This is just one of my conditions that has made me unable to work. Could you please tell me what the process is when it comes to first time applicants and roughly ball park about how far along into the process of a determintion I am since I have got to medical exam? Is there anything I need to do after SS requesting a medical exam? I did read that SS may request further tests based off of the medical exam but I highly doubt that they will want to pay for transportation across state lines to see the closest MPN specialist for determination to be made. Also, Is there anything that I can file with SS to speed up the process in getting a determintion made quicker?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Terra,

          I suggest that you get a statement from the physician attending you for the cancer saying that you have a high mortality risk within twelve to thirty-six months. Submit that directly to the claims examiner in the Disability Determination Services. If you don’t have the contact information, ask for the DDS number from Social Security or get it by calling your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and ask to be connected to the DDS for Social Security claims. Then ask to speak to the examiner handling your case so you can provide additional information. If you don’t get a decision within a month, try contacting your congressperson’s office to see if they will follow-up given your circumstances. Regarding medical care, have you tried to apply for Medicaid? Some states provide Medicaid to disabled adults and may only require a statement from your physician.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          the contact information. If not, take the statement to

      • Aniyah

        Good afternoon if you file a claim and after one week of seeing the mental examiner for a child a decision is made does that mean it’s denied. Which takes longer a denial or approval. Thanks in advance.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Aniyah,

          The length of time a claim pends is not an indicator of an approval or denial.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Max

      I have a question. I am 100% disabled by the VA. and I medical retired from my government job in January and applied for SSDI The same day. They got all my medical records very fast (within two weeks of me filing). SS sent me a letter that they wanted me to attend their exam by one of their doctors. I called the rep at the bottom of the page and explained that I had the same exam done by the Va. He advised if I had that exam paperwork and I did so I faced it to him. He called me after meeting with the doctor in Austin and advised that the new evidence I submitted was good and the doctor cancelled my exam. So I was told it is going to be finished any day now. How should I feel about what I was told? I heard that it’s a good thing when they cancel your exams.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Max,

        There is no way to know for sure, but it does seem as if your claim may be approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Becca

    I was widowed after 9 years of marriage on 11/22/2014. According to the SSA website I must apply for SSDI in person to get benefits as a surviving disabled widow. But, in a conversation with the local office I was told that wasn’t the case and to apply online. She said the website was referring to someone who had already been deemed disabled by SSA when becoming a widow.

    Also, I have a group LTD policy that does not pay benefits if you have co-conditions of anxiety or depression, even though my anxiety and depression are caused by my chronic and very long term pain…i.e. 15 years. My LTD policy states that I must apply for SSDI. My question is if I list the anxiety and depression on my SSDI application as a contributing condition to my disability is there a way that the LTD insurance company can get that information from the SSA and hold it against me. I have NOT listed that as part of the disability with the LTD provider.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Becca,

      Information from your Social Security claim cannot be released to your LTD insurance company without your express written permission.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sharon

    Hello Kay – I posted a comment on April 10th 2016 concerning a upcoming CE on April 15th 2016. Can you tell me where I posted it? I would like to go back and read my answer from you. Thank you…Sharon.
    I am now under “After Approval” I will look there for your response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sharon,

      You can my reply under “Understanding Social Security–the Basics” under the SSD Basic Facts tab.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jennifer

        Mrs.Kay,
        I am 41 years old and worked most of my life. I have cancer/Lymbal stem cell deficiency on my left eye.. This has been going on for around 7 to 8 years. It has left me to where I can’t go outside or work because of the sensitivity to light is severe. I have migraines and a constant runny nose from it. Always in severe pain and almost completely blind in the one eye. I worked January 2015 until November 2015 and then I couldn’t work anymore. I tried to keep pushing on because it was only me paying my bills and trying to help my children otherwise I would have been homeless and starving. I decided to go in April 2015 to apply for my disability and the lady at the local office admitted after me waiting about 6 to 8 months before calling that she had not finished my case. After speaking to a supervisor it all got straightened out. I received a call twice from them.. 1 asking for my bank information to do direct deposit and 2 saying they could not go back but to September because I worked a few months out of that year and made over the allowed amount by 20 to 40 dollars. I later called SS and ask about my case and the lady could not tell me direct I was approved but said “you are disabled and now they are getting together to figure out your reward letter.” I waited and called back and was told Quality Review picked it up. I then received a phone call from SS and a letter stating I needed to see one of their doctors. That was on 4/18/2016. I gave them a book of documentation from my doctor when I applied. I called again and was told that a decision was made in March and I have 60 days to get a letter of decision. I am so confused. Please help. I don’t have a clue what’s going on. I never got a lawyer.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jennifer,

          I think that the fact that you have been working has raised some questions. It would appear that the decision was made to pay you for some months, but then the claim was randomly picked for a quality assurance review, which has resulted in your being asked to go for a consultative examination. It may be the March decision that is under quality review. I recommend that you clarify whether you are still expected to attend a consultative examination and, if so, that you attend it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jennifer

            Dear Kay,
            Thanks for replying back. I was told that going to their doctor was just for their records because by law they have to have their doctors sign off on all my other doctors decisions. I do not have to go to anymore doctors and the last time I spoke with SS they said a decision was made in March and I had until the 14th of May to receive their decision letter.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Jennifer,

              It seems you have a good understanding of the status of your claim. Now it’s a matter of waiting.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Hamlet

    I retired in June 2010 and never worked again due to my bad knee. In June 2015 I filed for SSDI and at that time I was still covered for SSDI benefits, but after my 90 min. interview I ask to put my file on hold until I knew what the VA was going to do. My case was never close. I reapplied in February 2016, after I had TKR (Total Knee Replacement) surgery, but now I’m not covered for SSDI anymore. Will they use my initial date in June 2015 which was when I had S.S. insurance,, or will they use my surgery date in February 2016 when I did not have SSDI insurance? I just checked the web site, and it states “No decision made.” It’s been 44 days.

    Thanks You,
    Hamlet

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hamlet,

      If you claimed the June 2010 date of disability and you have medical evidence to show that you were disabled in 2015 before your insured status ran out, you can be approved. Payment, however, will go back only as far as February 2015, twelve months before the date of your application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hamlet

        Thanks Ms. Derochie

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Hamlet.

      • Hamlet

        I’m sorry, one last thing. I worked for 24 years, but I’m only 49, and I’m very curious and anxious to find out. Do TKR (Total Knee Replacement) ever get denied Social Security benefits if that person worked as long as I did?

        Thanks Again,
        Hamlet

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Hamlet,

          You may or may not be disabled after a total knee replacement. If you are able to work in a new occupation for which you have transferable skills based on your education and work history, your claim will be denied. If not, it will be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lilly

    I filed an SSI application for my child in July 2015. Initially, I was the only one working and my child’s father, who lives in the household, was receiving unemployment so we qualified based on our income. My child was then denied for the medical portion of the application. i submitted an appeal and eventually it was approved. I received a call from someone telling me to submit all of our proof of income dated from July 2015. I submitted all documentation requested but have not heard back from the man who called. I have made several calls and attempts to contact the man who was working on my claim. My childs father has been working since our original application and his gross income amount is close to the same as his unemployment weekly checks, but my income has remained pretty much the same. Why is it taking them so long to contact us now? Is it possible that we no longer qualify for SSI? If we no longer qualify for the income portion, how long will we have to wait before we reapply?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lilly,

      SSI law excludes (does not count) more earned income than unearned income, so it seems likely that your child still qualifies financially for SSI. If it has been more than a month since you submitted the documentation, try going to the local office if that is possible. If you are told the representative is busy and can’t see you, ask to have a supervisor check on the status for you and say you’ll wait.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • just waiting

    I received my approval letter that was 12 days ago but when i view my Social Security online it still says i’m not receiving benefits. How long does it normally take for it to update?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Just Waiting,

      If Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not involved, it can take from one to two months for monthly benefits to start and another one to two months after that before back benefits, if any, are paid. If SSI is involved, the time frames are usually longer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elodia

    Hello I have a question.,
    I applied since 11-24-3015 still have not heard back from social security. It was for disability they had me provide also ss cards for my kids and their birth certificates also had called them and they still haven’t had a response yet I have called the DD office and no answer yet do you think I’ve been denied ? Or what can be holding it up.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elodia,

      Social Security Disability claims often take from two to five months to process. You are getting to the long end of range of time. If you were denied, you should have received a letter. I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the claim is still pending a medical decision. If you are told that it is has been denied, go on record that you did not receive a denial letter and ask for a duplicate letter in case you want to appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lisa

        My daughter got ssi for 6 months they said they can’t send no more money till they decide if she is disabled. They even set there own appts got everything they asked for and now we are about to be homeless bc they stopped payment? What do I do I’m a single mother of 4

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lisa,

          You can file a statement of dire need and request expedited processing. You might also see whether any agencies or organizations in your area provide short-term rental assistance.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Elodia

        I spoke with the person handling my case at the determination department she asked me questions about my health and somehow they didn’t know about my rheumatologist. But she said my condition was more physical than mental so she said she was going to ask for my records from that one dr and have it expedited as soon as they receive those records what does that mean?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Elodia,

          The information you received indicates that your claim is being actively and thoughtfully reviewed, which in turn provides a better chance of getting a correct decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Charles

    I filed the paperwork for disability in November 2014. I called twice to get the status and they told me it was pending. I called a third time last Friday and told that the application had been sent last week to the local SSA office. Now Im told I won’t get any decision until July. Why would they just hold my application for 4 months? The operator said it was confusing for her as well.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Charles,

      It is possible that the computer information the service representative was looking at was not correctly updated. If you do not hear from the local office by about April 7 or so, I suggest that you go to the local office and let them know that you were told your claim was sent back to them and you want to know the status and what, if anything, is needed from you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • waiting on reply for question about son illness, asked about 1 to 2 days ago, where would i find the answer

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rosemary,

      Your question and my response are posted under the article “How Long Will I Wait to Get a Social Security Hearing Decision?” under the Hearing tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Dominique Green

      I have question I tried to check the disability estimated benefits amount and it said it was unavailable at the time. What does this mean? I was told I would get decision within ten busibusi days after having my ce exam

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dominique,

        Often estimated benefits do not appear while the claim is pending.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • just approved

          How long after approval will “my social security” update and not say “you are not currently receiving benefits”

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Just Approved,

            The status of your claim will be updated to show a payment amount when the benefits have been calculated and are being released. It can a couple of months for the monthly Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits to start and longer if a Supplemental Security claim (SSI) is also involved. Back pay is usually paid after the monthly benefits start.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Katherine

    Kay, I’m not sure how this works, so forgive me if I’m wasting your time! I have been receiving SSDI for many years (I was approved February of 2010, began receiving payments that fall/winter). The papers for my first review to continue benefits arrived a few weeks ago, I am on the 5-7 year review cycle as my condition is not expected to improve at all. I received the short form & had my doctor help fill it out. My question is: how long does it usually take to receive the letter that will say if my benefits will continue? I have been told not to worry b/c: I am in the “no improvement expected” category, I received the short form from social security, & my age (I will turn 55 this year). But of course I am just sick with worry, as my doctors have said there is no way I could function in a job (and I definitely agree). Will this be months of worrying myself sick, or do the reviews go fairly quickly? I am enrolled in the online access of My Social Security, would there be a place there that would show review results? (I have access to the “proof” letter, but that is for the initial award info.) Thank you for any help or suggestions you may offer!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katherine,

      It can take a couple months or more for the continuing disability review to be completed. While you wait, the only thing you can really do is to decide not to worry until you know you have something to worry about. If the unlikely happens that you get a termination letter, you can appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michael

    Applied for Disability. Decision: Fully Favorable. Payable back to April of 2014. Two questions. 1. Does the income of my wife effect my benefit amount? 2. I have dependents that are eligible, will their benefits also go back to April 2014?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      If you were approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your wife’s earnings will not affect your benefits. If your Social Security Family Maximum Benefit (FMB) is more than your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is your benefit, your children will be eligible for benefits for the same months that you are eligible. If you were also approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your wife’s earnings and the number of people in your family will be considered in determining your SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Michael

        Thank you again! Kay! You have been very hopeful through this crazy process.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Michael.

          • Crystal

            Hi I have a ? If you got approved for straight Medicaid does that mean I’m getting approve for my ssi

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Crystal,

              I am not an expert on Medicaid. I suggest that you ask the Medicaid office the basis for the approval. If they say SSI eligibility, then you will know.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • jacia feadow

    I was denied twice now and I’m waiting for my hearing. Initially, my paperwork said that the injuries are evident based on my supporting documents but that does not mean that I am unable to work a different job than I have in the past. Which is silly because I have tried to work customer service or technical support jobs but my body fails mid-shift and I end up losing my job and source of income and it increases the stress and lowers my quality of life and reasons for living.. eventually it becomes too difficult to even bother with anymore, because it really is just too difficult to continue. I just called and they said they have up to 15 months for the hearing. Currently it’s been 11 months and 15 days. What happens if they fail to hold my hearing? Is my claim automatically approved? My injuries have become worse and the doctor has ordered a hospital bed for my home. I can barely sit for an hour at a time and standing I last all of 5 minutes walking about 10 minutes. I shift and move around all day searching for comfort from the pain. Additionally, I use the restroom once every hour, sometimes every 20 minutes. This is not conducive to any type of employment. This waiting is difficult and does nothing to pay mounting bills or every expenses. I do not have a lawyer because of the fees and even if they work on contingency, I still need that back pay to put a dent on my severe financial crisis (I realize it won’t pay it all off but knowing there’s a reoccurring and dependable source of income would improve my quality of life for certain) Feeling sincerely discouraged. Any words of encouragement or advice is welcome. Jacia

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacia,

      Your claim will not be automatically approved if it takes longer than fifteen months to get a hearing date. You will just wait as long as it takes. Because you are choosing not to use an attorney, I suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so you know the exact reasons for the denial. Make a list of everything you want to say in court–why you can’t work in other occupations, chronic worsening of condition, etc. It would be a good idea to get updated medical records for the past twelve months and submit them as soon as you get them so they are in file before the judge reviews the case prior to the hearing. (You will be notified of the hearing date only about two weeks in advance.) If the vocational expert (VE) says there are jobs you can do and if the judge doesn’t ask whether you can do them with your specific limitations of sitting, standing, bathroom breaks, absences, leaving early, etc., ask the VE if you can do those jobs with those limitations. If you are as impaired as you are describing, you have a reasonable chance of being approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Leo

    Hi kate, my question is, that I can keep collecting ssdi even if my permanent resident card has expired because I forgot to renew it .. Thanks kate

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Leo,

      You can continue to receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits; however, if you are deported, benefits are not paid to individuals residing in certain countries.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Rebecca Perkins

        I checked the statues of my SSDI claim an it says a decision had not been made it was saying that DDS was processing the medical part of it any idea what this mean

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Rebecca,

          The information you have means that the Disability Determination Services (DDS) is reviewing all the information you submitted to decide whether or not you are disabled according to Social Security law.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • anxietyriddenkitten

            im at reconsideration, my status online says no decision has been made yet, although when i called the 800 number the woman said a decision was made on March 25th and was mailed out then. I have yet to receive my letter (6 mail days later the office is close also) how would i know if they sent it to the local office first? my obama phones out of minutes so idk if anyone called me. i do have an attorney and have from the start i have anxiety, major depression, delusional disorder, gerd, gastritis, ibs-c, spasmodic torticollis and degenerative disc disease. im on prilosec, zoloft, xanax daily. also have several letters from doctors/psychiatrist stating the severity of my problems and gaf scores ranging from 34-72. thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Anxietyriddenkitten,

              You may have gotten a letter by now. If not, check to see if your attorney has received one. You and the attorney should be notified at the same. The local office will be notified at the same time if you are approved for SSI and there is action that they need to take.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • claudia caracheo

      Hi kay,

      I applied for ssi for my 3 year old daughter who has an intellectual disability and speech inpairment back in oct 2015. Recently at the end of jan i received an authorization letter to have doctors reports sent to them. I send the letter immediately and it now march 16 and haven’t heard anything back. When do you think i should get a response. Also i heard people say you get sent money for the time it takes to make a determination. But i haven’t received nothing. How true is this?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Claudia,

        I’d say that you are getting close to getting a decision. You can call the claims examiner who requested the medical records and as the status of the claim and whether you need to submit anything else. If your child is approved benefits will begin November 2015, unless you applied on the first of October in which case benefits will start in October.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Reynolds

          I got a letter from medicaid before my decision from SSA it says I won’t be able to get medicaid because my SSI was denied. Doesn’t say nothing about SSDI is it possible to get approved for SSDI if you get denied for SSI?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Reynolds,

            If your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was denied for financial ineligibility, your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim could still be approved. If the SSI denial was a medical denial, the SSDI will also be denied. The only exception would be if you had a closed period of disability ending before your SSI claim. If that were the case, then you could be approved for SSDI and be paid only back pay, no ongoing benefits.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Jessica

    Hey everyone

    I got a letter about 2 weeks ago listing all the items that they are using to make their decision. But there was no decision in the letter. Just a substantial amount of paper listing all these documents and doctors appointments/assessments I’ve had over the years.

    What does this mean? And how long do you think it will be until I get a decision?

    Thank you for any and all the help you can give.

    Jess M

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      Decision letters, whether for an initial claim or a hearing, usually list the evidence reviewe. I suggest that you look at the title of the notice and where it came from and then reread to be sure no decision or request is buried in the other information. If there is not, then I recommend contacting Social Security to have them explain the letter to you and to check to be sure nothing is missing from it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • i had applied for disability, had a hearing and then i received a letter from ssa stating how much my attorney can collect from my claim. there was a claim number on this letter. is this a good indication that my disability has been approved?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erin,

      You will not know whether you have been approved until you get a letter from the hearing office saying you have received a favorable or partially favorable decision. I suggest that you call your attorney to see if he or she has received a decision letter for you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gloria Young

        Yes Kay, I am wondering about the process also for getting approved. I had my hearing in December of 2015. The judge left my case open for another 30 days because I used and out of state attorney (big mistake) who chose another attorney from my state to go to my hearing with me. He felt like some of my documentation was missing. Anyway the hearing went great, but the judge wanted me to take an CE exam, which I felt did not go well. How much weight does or will that have on my decision? I had a statement from my doctor stating I could not bend, sit or stand long. I have arthritis of the spine and knee. The expert at the hearing also said I could not do any job. Do you think I have a chance at getting approval if the CE doctor give me a bad review?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Gloria,

          It is hard to say what effect the consultative exam report will have, especially without knowing why it was ordered or what it will be. I suggest that you discuss the examination with your in-state attorney who was at the hearing as soon as possible to see if he or she thinks any additional action is needed or possible.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Gloria Young

            My case is already being reviewed by the judge per the ODAR office. So I just have to have faith the everything will work out for my good. I am curious to know how long it might take to get a decision since he is reviewing my file. Also how often should I check the status? I just checked last week. Thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Gloria,

              Please see my response to your first post.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Gloria Young

            Can you please tell me where my first post is located? I cant remember or find it. Thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Gloria,

              You posted in two places that I could find: “How Long Does It Take to Get a Hearing Decision. . .” under the Hearings tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page and under “How Will I Know If My Application Has Been Approved. . .” under the After Approval tab.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Melissa

    I have a claim for SSDI. I was looking at MY SSacount yesterday to see if I could find the decision. Yesterday I wasn’t able to veiw my Estimated Benefits. It said it was unavailable due to a case pending. Today it shows all of them as estimated benefits and I have a letter that is suppose to come before March 3rd. I called the SSI office and was told that if I didn’t receive the letter, to call them back. Does it sound like a denial?

    • Melissa

      Dear Ms. Kay, As of yesterday, they updated the first home page of the MySS account but the Verification letter doesn’t have any estimates or anything, doesn’t show that I’m not receiving or if I am receiving and I have a claim number on this letter that has an A behind my ss#. Does that mean anything? Can it mean I have been awarded? Does it mean they just have to wait to update the entire section of the SSacount? Do you have any answers for me? I appreciate anything at all you can tell me.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Melissa,

        Please see my response to your previous message. The A behind your name may mean the claim is still pending. If you had been finally approved, at some point it would change from A, meaning your claim is on your own earnings record, to HA meaning a disabled worker.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Yes, it does sound like a denial; however, the computer updates related to pending claims and hearings at times appear to be inaccurate. If you are denied and disagree with the reasons given in the letter, you can appeal. To do so, it is advisable to get a copy of your claim file to review and to engage an experienced Social Security attorney. 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 your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • valencia williams

    Hi I left a comment about a month ago but I can’t find it. OK well I applied for ssi in April of 2013. I use to receive ssi and I stopped in 2010. I was approved in less then 4 months because I was inpatient for 5 years as an teen. OK I decided to get off ssi and get a job I held on to that job for 3 years then my phsycosis and bipolar was triggered and I quit. I tried to get reinstated which I knew little about at the time but my lawyer said I’m not qualified so I left it alone. OK recently I did my research and it said I could have gotten reinstated if I applied under five years after getting off ssi. I stood in front of the judge after him discussing my case and said I use to be on ssi the look he gave me was like wow I wish I would have known that sooner. He couldn’t pull it up at the time but he left the case open for almost 5 months trying to get my records medical and proof I use to receive ssi. What is your intake on this plus I called a few days ago after 5 months he made a decision they said to wait in the mail for it will the decision come directly to me or the ssi office because when I call the ssi office they say he hasn’t made a decision but the adjudication office says he have

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Valencia,

      The hearing office has more detail on where your appeal is within the hearing decision, so you can trust the information from the hearing office. It can take a few weeks for the letter to be prepared and reviewed by the judge for accuracy. You will be notified directly at the same time as the local office is notified of the decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • sha

        Hey Kay,
        I was wondering how long does it take to get an approval or denial letter when applying for ssi for a premature baby for low birthweight I was informed by the case worker at the hospital that I qualify I applied in early January and have yet to receive a letter or call when googling I read that I was suppose to receive funds while my case is under review how true is this?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sha,

          If your child’s claim has been flagged as presumptive disability, you should get benefits for up to three months while the claim is being reviewed for a final decision. I suggest that you follow up with your local office about the presumptive payments.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • MrDee

      Hello. I had an appeal hearing Oxtober of 2015. I’ve waited months for a decision. As of February 2016 i was told my case was with the judge, then it was pending and then back with the judge.As of to date it’s under final review and being edited. Can you please help me understand?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Mr. Dee,

        The post-hearing process is as follows: judge makes decision; letter is written; letter goes back to judge to review for accuracy; judge reviews and letter is mailed or judge reviews and letter is sent to editing for correction. If editing is needed, it goes back to the judge for re-review and is then sent.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Amanda

    I Mischel he applied for SS DI in June 2015. I had a stroke in 2011 At the age of 27 years old with multiple perceptual and physical limitations . However, at the time that I applied I was still working and struggling to do so. I was told by my psychologist that in some cases it is better to apply for disability while you are working as an attempt to prove you have exhausted all options . I quit working in July 2015 – roughly one month after applying for Social Security . The disability determination center sent me to a physician to evaluate my physical limitations as well as a psychologist that performed multiple perception will tests. I was told by the federal office in December that a decision was made on December 14, 2015. However, I was selected for quality review. I call at least once a week and have been told by both my state representative and a federal representative that I was awarded an allowance based on the initial this decision in December 2015 . Fast forward to February 16, 2016 – I still have not received an initial decision and my application is still in quality review – is this normal for an initial to be in quality review for 2+ months ? From everyone I’ve talked to it seems as though the hold up is in determining my onset date where I did apply while working . I would think this would be a pretty easy fix and I’m puzzled as to why it is still in quality review after all this time. Also, what would be the likelihood that a decision would be overturned based upon the information given above. I am at my maximum a stray shin level and definitely feeling the effects financially after not working nor hearing any news in over eight months . Any information you could provide would be greatly helpful and appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      I would have expected the quality review to have been completed by now; however, holiday vacations in December could be a factor. If you are in dire need and haven’t submitted a statement of dire need, you can do that. Otherwise, you have done everything you can.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Susan R.

    Hello. These are the facts of my case: I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in June 2015. I have no income or resources, and my husband’s income is so low that I qualify for SSI. However, in 2014, my mother had added me to her checking account so that I could write checks to pay her bills while she was out of state caring for a cousin in hospice. After the cousin passed away, she no longer needed me on the account and I was removed. I received a denial of my SSI claim for the months I was on that account, which I understand. However, it also states I am not eligible for the months when I was no longer on the account, up to and including 2/2016 – and the “resources” part still lists that account for this month, even though I am no longer on it.

    Is it hopeless for me to make an appeal? Will they just always consider that I was on that account at the time I filed for SSI, even though I am no longer on it? Would I have a better chance if I started a brand new claim, since I have an illness which automatically qualifies for SSI? So confused….Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      Two possibilities exist in this scenario. The first is that a simple mistake has just been made and the excess resource was not removed when it should have been. In that case, you can just appeal giving the date your mother removed you from the account. Your mother can provide a supporting statement about why you were on the account and that your removal from the account was because she no longer needed your help because she was not longer providing hospice care out of state. You should submit a document from the bank showing the date of removal.

      The second possible scenario deals with the law that a person cannot give away money or other resources to get SSI eligibility and get the benefits right away. If your name being removed from the account is being treated as disposition of a resource for no compensation, then the balance on the account on the date your name was removed would disqualify you for a length of time equal to the number of months it would take to use it up for your support at a rate of $733 a month had it not been disposed of. If that is the situation, having your mother’s statement that she removed you of her own accord related to her own needs (see above) and that you had no say in her decision and did not have your name removed to gain eligibility could help you prevail. If you lose the appeal, you can always reapply.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Susan R.

        Thank you Kay. My caseworker already asked me to provide both those things – a document from the bank showing when I was removed from the account, and a statement from my mother explaining the situation – and I have done so. It was only after providing those things that my claim was denied. So assuming that the second scenario you wrote about is that one that is happening, it seems like an appeal would also be denied. I guess my real question is this: if I file a new claim, do they just use the same information from the first claim, or does it start over brand new and fresh? Will a new claim mean they only see what bank accounts I have right now, or will they also see that past account that I have not been on for a long time? Thank you. -Susan

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Susan,

          I believe that the application forms ask for current bank accounts but also asks if you have disposed of any assets in the preceding twenty-four months. Here is a link to what Social Security regulations say about disposal of resources. https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/416/416-1246.htm

          Depending on the amount in the account when your name was taken off the account it could be better to file a new claim or better to appeal. If, for example, the account had $3665 in it, then you would be barred from benefits for four months ($3,665 divided by $733) and those four months may have already passed. If there was $7,330 in the account, you would be barred for 10 months, and so on.

          If you appeal, you might have to take it all the way to a hearing, where you could argue that you did not dispose of the resources–your mother simply took back control of the bank account for her reasons, not yours. Another thought occurred to me: you might check with the bank to find out whether you even had the power to remove yourself from the account. Your mother may have made you a signer but not have given you the power to add or subtract signers. If that is the case, it should help an appeal. Also, how she put you on the account matters. If you were on it with power of attorney (as an attorney in fact to act on her behalf), legally the money is not yours.

          Sincerely
          Kay

          • Susan R.

            Thank you so much for this wealth of information!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Susan.

  • Karen

    My brother, age 51 years old, started to show changes in behavior around March 2014. Around that time he lost his home and stopped working. Although we believe he did try to start jobs several times after that, the jobs didn’t last. Prior to this change, he was a nurse (LPN) and worked consistently for many many years. Although family members pleaded with him to see a doctor, he wouldn’t.

    At the end of December 2015, my brother showed up. Prior to this we had lost contact with him. He is now temporarily living with me and my family until we can find an assisted living facility place for him and have financial support to pay for it. My brother since 2014 has been living with friends or homeless. He has no income and no insurance.

    He was able to recall his former primary physician’s name, and we paid for a visit with him. His doctor diagnosed him with dementia and declared that my brother was unable to make any medical or financial decisions. My brother is unable to care for himself. His abilities have significantly decreased since 2014. He cannot communicate (uses repetitive statements). He cannot prepare meals. He cannot manage money or shop. He cannot drive. He spends his day briefly watching the news and wandering around our house confused and going for walks with me. We paid for an MRI and it showed normal pressure hydrocephalus, white matter changes, and cortical atrophy.

    We applied for SSI disability and SSI low income on January 8, 2016. On January 19th the SSI examiner called and said that she received the paperwork I completed about my brother’s current state and she asked a few questions. She also said she requested the MRI info and information from my brother’s doctor. I told her about two hospitals my brother may have visited fairly recently. I called about a week later because I forgot to mention my family history of early-onset Alzheimer’s. The examiner was very nice and said she received information from my brother’s doctor and the MRI and was still waiting on information from the hospitals.

    Given the severity of my brother’s situation, should I expect to hear something soon about an approval or denial. My brother really needs to be in an assisted living facility. It’s getting harder and harder to care for him and I worry about him when we are at work and my children are at school.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      It seems likely your brother will be approved. While you are waiting for a decision, I recommend applying for Medicaid for him at a state social service office. Apply specifically for Medicaid for payment of assisted living. Also start looking for a facility that has open rooms for people paying with Medicaid and tour any potential facility. Hopefully, you will be able to find one near you where you can visit and check on his care.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Karen

        Hi Kay,

        Thank you for your reply. We live in Florida. So when I took my brother to apply for SSI and SSDI, an application for medicaid was also completed at that time. I believe in Florida, if you are approved for SSI and SSDI, medicaid is approved.

        When I spoke to an attorney regarding Power of Attorney and Health Care Surrogate froms, she told me about the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care which covers assisted living. I had a telephone interview with the Senior Connection Center, and my brother is now on the waiting list and if funding becomes available, he will later be determined if eligible for the Medicaid Long-Term Care. I was told it could be a year or so before he would be considered for eligibility. Does that sound like the right process for Medicaid for assisted living?

        Also, I have found a place for my brother to live and it is two miles from my home. We have been there a few times to talk to them and have turned in everthing needed (application, doctor’s form, etc.). At this time they do have availability. We told them we are just waiting to hear from Social Security. And the facility does accept medicaid.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Karen,

          The process you describe seems right. The only thing you mentioned that isn’t quite correct is that Social Security entitlement does not automatically result in Medicaid entitlement, though SSI entitlement usually does.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Karen

            Hi Kaye,

            When I last spoke to the disability examiner during the last week of January, I asked her if there was anything else I could do such as taking my brother to another doctor for more support for his case. The examiner said that there is nothing else needed for me to do at this time. She said she had the information from my brother’s doctor and the mri and was still waiting to get information from the two hospitals he may have visited. When would it be appropriate for me to call again to find out the status of my brother’s case? Was it right for me to ask if there was anything else I could do?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Yes, it was appropriate to inquire whether there is anything your brother needs to do to support his claim. Right now, he could contact the medical records departments of the hospitals to be sure they have the requests and to get an estimate on when the records will be sent. Then he could give that information to the disability examiner. (Note that some hospitals have separate record departments for inpatient stays and emergency room visits.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Karen

            Hi Kaye,

            Yesterday in the mail, my brother received information that he now has medicaid. But we haven’t received any news on SSI or SSDI. We live in Florida, and I thought that he had to be approved for SSI before receiving medicaid.

            So today I called the local social security office. The man said a decision has been made, but he does not know what decision was made. He told me that if I haven’t heard anything by March 4th, to call again.

            If a decision was made, and my brother was never called in for a consultative examination, does that seem as if the examiner had enough information and he was approved?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Based on the information that you have provided, I think the Medicaid approval may be independent of the pending Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. A claim can be either approved or denied without a consultative examination if there is enough information in file for a decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Karen

            Hi Kaye,

            I just wanted to let you know that my brother was approved for both SSI and SSDI. We already received a check for January and February 2016 for SSI, but I was told once the SSDI payments start, he will no longer receive SSI. I’m glad he was approved. He is moving into the assisted living facility very soon. I’m so relieved. They can offer him the support that I cannot at this time.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Karen,

              Thank you for providing an update on how things turned out for your brother.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • ShayG

      Hi Kay, I was approved for SSD in June 2015 going back to March 2013. I’ve received my monthly benefits check as well as my back pay, however my sons were never added. On sept 21st they called and got all info for my kids and their direct express card numbers. They told me I should expect their benefits to start up within 60 days. I’m still waiting. They keep saying its at the Social Security Disability payment center in Maryland and i just have to wait. They sent an “In dire need” letter to them but said they have no way for men to contact them directly. How long does this process take and is there anyway to speed it up on my end? Thx !

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shay,

        In theory, the children’s benefits should have been started by now. Occasionally the manager in the local office can make a “manager to manager” inquiry to the payment center, though it will not necessarily speed things up. You might contact your congressperson’s office to see if they will make an inquir on your behalf.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Debbie B

    Dear Ms. Kay,
    I was unfortunately denied for my SSDI (Grrrr) I have been fighting with Social Security since 2007 , I finally retained a lawyer after my first denial with a ALJ .I started all over again with my claim , another ALJ hearing and another denial (even with a lawyer) also pretty frustrating when half of my conditions I suffer are under the Adult Disability check list as a disability, but my lawyer decided to take this last claim of denial to the civil court level , but advised me to reapply again , so I did back in August 2015 (only for SSI) the whole time I’ve been fighting my disability I never received a letter from Social Security saying that they’re sending a fee petition to my attorney so my question is by having received this letter from Social Security saying a fee petition has been sent to my attorney ,is that good sign that my claim has been approved??

    I really hope so because after the first judge denied my claim and when I had to start the process over again my credits ran out so basically I’m only stuck with applying for SSI (If approved) even for that until I reach the age 65 to get SSDI which really ticks me off being I’ve been working since the age of 19 ..

    Kind Regards

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debbie,

      If the fee petition document is related to the federal district court appeal, it might mean approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carol

    Hello Kay
    I went before the judge in December 2015 for my social security disability , i am now awaiting my decision. At my hearing the judge ask me questions about my disabilities and discuss my job history,job function,rfc,etc… The Judge asked the VE due to my age and limitations, what other job can she do? The Vocational Expert said none, my lawyer verified the information, the judge then asked my lawyer would he like to call his witness, judge told him that it was up to him too call his witness, so my lawyer decline to call our witness cause he said i cover everything. So the judge ended the hearing, and told me that he would notify me and my lawyer with decision by mail. I wonder, will i get my decision before my 60 days are up, this week make six weeks. i called the hearing office last week, was told that my case was been written up, after that the judge will review,after that a decision will be mail out. If the VE states that their is no other type of work i can do, then it should be a good chance of approval? What do u think?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carol,

      If the judge finds that the evidence in your claim file supports the limitations you claim, your claim will be approved based on the vocational expert’s opinion. It can take from a couple weeks to a month or more to have the letter written and reviewed by the judge, so I can’t predict whether you will get a decision earlier than sixty days.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Carol

        Thanks Kay

        I heard from Social Security Adminstration today, I was approved for benefits. Thanks you very much for your input.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Carol.

  • Michael

    Small question. Had hearing in November. Called today. Was told it was sent to the “underwriters” do approved and denied go through the “underwriters”?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      I wonder if you were told “letter writers,” not “underwriters. After the judge makes a decision, the claim goes to the letter writing department for letter preparation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Michael

        No. They said “underwriting” because I thought it was a little weird. So I asked them to repeat. When I have heard underwriting before it was for insurance or loans.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Michael,

          I really don’t know what it means as related to a Social Security claim. If you find out, please let me know.

          Thank you,
          Kay

          • Michael

            Sure will.

            Thank you!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Michael.

    • Alicia

      Once the disability is approved it goes to the underwriters. So if you had your interview and they are telling you it’s with the underwriters then most likely you were approved. We were told that it could take up to 60 days to get the letter from them and then another 60days to start getting the actual benefits.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Alicia,

        The people who review medically approved Social Security Disability claims for non-medical factors of eligibility are called claims representatives, claims authorizers or benefit authorizers, not underwriters.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Michael

      Are there two different “letters”? An “Approval” letter and an “Award” letter? Or is there just one letter that covers the topics of both?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Michael,

        There will be a decision letter from the judge that will say whether you are approved or not. Then when benefits are calculated and paid, you will get an award letter that outlines the payment amounts. Often the award letter comes about a week after payment starts if payment is direct deposit to a bank or to a DirectExpress card.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Michael

          So I just received a letter that says:

          “Notice of Decision- Fully Favorable”.

          Now common sense makes me think that means I was approved. But our government has a crazy way of doing things. LOL. Has anyone else gotten a letter like this?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Michael,

            “Fully favorable” is the standard language for a full approval as opposed to a partially favorable decision, which means payment duration is limited or based on a less advantageous date of disability.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Michael

            Thanks. Like I said I thought that’s what it meant. But being in the military and dealing with the government. They do some crazy things. Thanks for all your answers.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Michael.

  • dee

    i called the ODAR today, i ask the status on my case, the respond was the underwriter has it and it will go back to the judge and from there it will go to Baltimore Maryland and they will send me a decision, he asked me to verify my address to ensure the decision is routed to correct address. I’m confused, this is for social security disability. Don’t understand what that means, i dont live no where close to baltimore maryland. Do you think a decision has been made about my case? What’s a underwriter is he someone that makes the decision on a case?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      Your appeal may be in the process of being approved. Baltimore is the location of the Social Security Disability payment center. You will not know for sure until you are notified.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • dee

        Thank you for input!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Dee.

    • Dana

      I was told the same thing this week. My decision has been made and once the judge signs off my case will be sent to the Central Operations in Baltimore. My decision is also coming from this location. Does anyone know if this is a good sign. Do only approvals come from Baltimore?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dana,

        After some research I located a POMS (Procedural and Operations Manual Systems) reference. Approved hearing decisions are sent for payment calculation to a Processing Center, one of which is located in Baltimore. Denied hearing files in all areas are sent to a mega-center in Virgina. So, unless your hearing was incorrectly routed, it appears it has been medically approved.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Dana

          Kay, Thank you!

          • Kay Derochie

            You are welcome, Dana.

        • Dana

          Kay

          My ODAR office in California told me that the judge signed my decision and the case is closed as of yesterday! She told me that I should receive the decision within 7-10 business days. I know that you researched The Office of Central Operations In Baltimore. This is where they said the notice is being sent from. Which looks like could be a possible approval. However, I read somewhere that this is also the processing center for denials for people 54 and older. Is this true! I am 54 1/2…Thank you for any input!

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Dana,

            It is always possible that there has been a recent change; however, currently Social Security’s procedural operations manual states that denial hearing decisions go to the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) Mega-Site in Springfield, VA, where they are retained for 180 days. If no appeal is filed, the claim is forwarded to SSA’s National Record Center in Missouri.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • catherine

    I just got off the phone from calling the 1-800 number for disability to ask about my claim status and the lady said all my paperwork is in the Tallahassee office and that they are still getting reports back from my doctors and hospitals. She said that they usually have an answer in bout 60 days from the time I sent back all the forms they sent me to fill out which i sent in on dec.21,2015. Is the Tallahassee office where they generate the disability checks? Is this a good sign that I will get approved? I applied for disability in october 2015.
    I have type 1 diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, neuropathy, diabetic nerve pain in my hands and feet. I was in hospital in april 2015 thinking i was having a stroke and was diagnosed with Bells Palsy.. Thank you for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Catherine,

      I cannot predict whether you will approved, but it is possible. The office in Tallahasee is the Disability Determination Services (DDS) that reviews your claim and makes the decision regarding whether you are disabled according to Social Security law. Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits are authorized by a payment center in Baltimore. If you also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and are medically approved, payment will be authorized by your local Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • catherine

        Thank you for your help in answering my question. I did not apply for SSI ,only disability. When I was in the hospital numerous times the doctors had me listed as disabled so I am thinking that will help my case. Thanks again.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Catherine.

  • Jeremy cooper

    I went to court on Dec17th. I called Jan 5th and was told the decision was in writting. Is this a good sign or a bad sign for that short amount of time?? How long before I get a decision letter in the mail??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jeremy,

      Well, it is very good that you are getting a decision so quickly without having to wait a long time; however, how fast a decision is made is not an indication of approval or denial.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • pam landry

        Hi Kay,
        I filed for disability in July2015 on Dec9th had an appt with a phocologist per ss request a decision was made on Dec29 as of today I still didn’t get my letter but I called yesterday and they told me call my local office well I did that 30min ago and they said they had a copy of it and they will put it in the mail today…my question is does that sound like and approval or denial?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Pam,

          I cannot say for sure whether the letter will be a medical approval or denial. If it is an approval, you will have to wait for the payment center to calculate and authorize your payment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • pam landry

            I called the 800# yesterday to find out how long it would take to receive my determination letter and the guy told me I wasn’t approved, should I wait on my letter before appealing their decision?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Pam,

              You have to receive the denial letter to appeal. Social Security must receive your appeal within sixty-five days of the date of the letter. I suggest that you also request a copy of your claim file to see the exact reasons for denial so that you can address those reasons in the appeal.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • I just got a letter from social security about a application summary what this mean dose mean I’m app are denie

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Mike,

            An summary of the facts of your application would not constitute a denial. I suggest, however, that you contact Social Security with the letter and clarify the purpose of it to be sure.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Jessica

    I applied for benefits on December 8,2015 for anger anxiety depression and being bipolar… They sent 3 packages asking questions about my everyday life and previous jobs and things like what I do from the time I get up and the morning til the time I go to bed…I filled it out and sent them back….I haven’t heard from the yet..do this sounds like I will be denied or what?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      I cannot predict whether you will be approved. The forms you completed were part of your application. It can take two to five months to get the claim reviewed and a decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jessica

        Since I haven’t heard anything back as of yet can you tell what process they are on after receiving those papers back?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jessica,

          I can’t provide any specific information about your claim. Generally, all the forms will be reviewed and medical records or other medical information will be requested and evaluated.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • catherine howell

    I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007 at age 47, I also have peripheal vascular disease, neuropathy, diabetic nerve pain in my hands and feet, diagnosed with bells palsy in 2015. I am in extreme pain everyday and I have not worked since nov. 2011. I applied for disability in oct. 2015 and i filled out all the papers, pain questionaire, job history for last 15 years and 3 people contact list they sent me in dec. 2015. How long before a decision is made or what happens next? Thank you for your help.

    • catherine howell

      I also have diabetic ketoacidosis.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Catherine,

      The request for additional information indicates your claim is in review. It could take another week or so or even a couple months. It is hard to predict.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • catherine howell

        Thank you for your help. I applied for disability when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes only and I was denied within 1 week. All my other health issues came later and since I can’t work I applied again in Oct. 2015 and listed all my health issues I have now. Hopefully since my claim is in review that means something will happen and I will get an answer soon so thank you again for your help. I check my claim status often and it keeps saying a decision has not been made yet. What happens after the review?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Catherine,

          If your claim is medically approved, the next step will be for the payment center to calculate and authorize payment, which can take a month or more.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • catherine howell

            My last question for you is how long a review takes? You might have already answered this in my 1st question.. Thank you for all your help, I greatly appreciate it.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Catherine,

              The claim review can take from two to five months.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Monica Portis

            My ssi claim was approved the same day of my hearing.I received a letter of full favored decision 7 days later.SSA told me to take my letter to the local office along with my bank routing #.the rep.on my case was to buisy to see me .even though I was advised to to come there .how long do you think it will take before I receive any benefits.my case was closed and my onset date was approved for Oct 2011.I need specialist say my doctors and I can’t afford to pay.they are calling me every day to give me special testing for neurological problems and cardiovascular issues before its to late.Kay what should I do?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Monica,

              Please provide more information so I can respond. How long ago did you get the letter and how long since you provided the bank account information? And, were you approved for Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or both?

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Lovely

    Hello, I hope you can answer my question. I am an epileptic, have sleep apnea, anxiety and depression. I applied for SSI and SSDI back in May 2015, I was denied and did a reconsideration in August got a lawyer and all that. While I have been waiting on a decision I had a seizure going up the steps broke my toe. Then a couple days later had one coming down the steps and fractured my vertebrae and arthritis is now set in my spine. I have seizures every day have lost every job since I ever had since i was 16, and I am now 37. I took me so long because I’m stubboring and thought I could keep working and i’ve tried to cope with them. But I didn’t want to keep putting my kids through alot of things so I decided to listen to my family and apply.
    Today I called my DDS examiner and he said that he did make a decision yesterday and that I should receive a letter within 2 weeks. If not to call my local social security office. Is this a good sign? I can’t take to much more stress it’s not good for my seizures. I’m trying to stay calm. I guess I’m just scared of being denied again and have to wait even longer to go to an ALJ. Its very hard trying to take care of small children with no income. Can you shed some light? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lovely,

      Hopefully, you let the examiner know about the falls and injuries due to seizures after filing your claim. If you did, I think there is a good chance your claim has been approved. I suggest following the advice of the examiner and call your local office if you have not received a letter or been contacted within two weeks. Tell the office that you were told a medical decision had been made but you have not received any notifications.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lovely

        Thank you so much Kay, I did let the examiner know and he said he did receive it that is why it took so long for the decision because he received that information of my falls and arthritis on the 29th which was very important. So I hope this is it and one less thing I have to stress about. Also my doctor supports me with disability and she has me at no working and no driving and for me to get plenty of rest. I don’t know if that is important or not but she did fill out the forms while i was at an appointment.

        • Lovely

          I called my local office today and they said a letter was sent of the decision yesterday. I’m so nerves it seems so quick I feel like I’m going to be denied. And he just made the decision on Tuesday. What do you think? Your opinion please.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Lovely,

            It is not possible for me to predict whether your claim has been approved or denied.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • April

    Happy holidays
    My case is at the hearing level and I have a question. I called the ODAR office and was told that my case was worked up and on the list for a court date. I also called my local office because they are a bit nicer and was told I’m in the first level of preparing my case and a decision could be made without going in front of the ALJ. I’m confused I thought once it go to the hearing office I just have to wait for the ALJ to see me. How many levels do the case go through at the hearing office before I see the ALJ. My disability Man depression PTSD anxiety.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear April,

      Your claim has moved out of waiting its turn to being worked on. The judge will review the full claim file; and if he or she can approve your claim, you will be approved without a hearing. If a hearing is required (as in most cases), a hearing date will be set.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • April

        Thank you

        • April

          If I’m schedule for hearing how long do it usually take to get the court date? I live in Fayetteville North Carolina and was told that my name went on the list 23 of November

          • April

            Sorry I meant to say if I’m on the list to be schedule for court date how long does it usually take to get the dates? I’ve been on the list for a court date since the 23rd of November and I live in Fayetteville North Carolina.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear April,

              Please see my response of earlier today.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear April,

            The wait is about nineteen months in the Fayetteville hearing office.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, April.

          • MANISHA

            Hello, I would like to know what is a proctor letter. Maybe I heard the word wrong, but it’s a document that social security will mail to me to review all medical evidence received after my claim. Can you please explain this better and does it mean that I’m close to a decision being made?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Manisha,

              I am not familiar with the term “proctor letter” or “reviewing all the medical evidence received after your claim.” I suggest that you ask the person who told you about it to explain what it is and what its purpose is.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • tara

            i applied for my social security disability benefits with premiere disability lawyers in either feb or march of 2015 i was told i was approved in june of 2015 and all of a sudden the disability office sent me a norice to go to their social security doctors and i did i waited longer then all of a sudden social security disability senr me another doctor now i have been waiting for 11 months and no body seems to have an answer every body keeps telling me i am in quality review why so long

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tara,

              Your claim was randomly selected for a quality assurance review. Apparently, the review resulted in an assessment that your claim was approved without sufficient documentation to support the approval. I can’t explain why it has taken so long to get the examinations scheduled and a decision made other than claim backlogs. You can call the office that sent you to the exams to ask the status–have they gotten everything they need for the review.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Sean

    My mom called for status of her claim…first person she spoke with said a decision had been made a few days ago and she would receive a notice soon. She called back within 10 minutes for another question and was told the claim was still pending. Also, thru the entire process (initial and recon) her online benefits letter has always shown her old benefits she collected as a dependent at her childhood home…two days ago it updated with her current mailing address and indicated that the claim was still being worked on to see if benefits will be paid out or not…then it changed back to the old information. Do you have any idea/suggestion as to what is happening behind the scenes?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sean,

      I’ll take a guess at part of what you described. I think the second person she spoke to, when saying the claim was pending, may have used that word because no payment had been issued, not that a medical decision had not been made. The first change in the online information would be compatible with my guess. I don’t know why it would have changed back. It might be helpful for her to call the Disability Determination Services (DDS) that does the medical review. They will know whether it is still pending with them or has left them, but they will not give out the medical decision over the phone.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sean

        Hi again…my mom called again for status last week since she was told over 2 weeks ago that a decision had been made. This time after the rep asks the normal verification questions she advises my mom that she should hear something by March 26, previously whenever she called they would tell her she would hear something by Jan. 13. She then follows with “you haven’t received anything yet? Any idea why she would ask that question after she had just said she would have a decision by March 26th…and also…any idea why the change from Jan 13 to march 26?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sean,

          I really don’t know why the dates would be changed so much unless the claim has been medically approved and it will take another couple months after approval for the benefits to be paid.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Delkela

        Hi i was recently in a car crash back in 2012 where i broke my leg n lost my knee bone i now have a plate pins and rods inside my leg i have trouble standing walking and bending my leg i filed oct 2015 i recieved paper requesting that i see a doctor for a examination 3months later however its been 2weeks since the examine and i havent heard anything my case is going on day 120 does this lengthy time means i am denied or does it simply mean they are still working on it

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Delkela,

          The Disability Determination Services is still working on your claim. They may not even have received the consulting physician’s report as yet and it can take a month or more after that to get a decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • I am a 35 year old suffering from severe diabetes I was told by the doctor that my levels are the highest he has seen I’m the office.I have carpal tunnel my legs give out on me and I fall in the street.I have major back problems and anxiety attacks and suffering from serious depression.I’m on 12 different medications which now I suffer from fatigue.I applied for disability in November I seen a nerve doctor and a therapist for ssd in December. I called the other day and I was told that claim is still pending but my call back date is for March.she also said if I don’t hear from th or receive a payment by then call back around that time.what does that mean

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tiffany,

      The information you were given means that your claim has not been decided and it could take as long as to March.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • I called them today and they told me a decision was made and my papers is at my social security office.she stated that they were still writing up my paper and to expect it in like two weeks.does that sound like an approval?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tiffany,

          Please clarify a point so I can try to respond. What kind of paper was being written up and who was going to do it, the Disability Determination Services or your local Social Security office?

          Thank you,
          Kay

  • Amber

    I have one question if I applied for my child in September how long does it take for them to say if it was approved or denied???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amber,

      New claims take two to five months to process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tanya

    So I have received my approval letter from the ALJ. My lawyers sent a letter telling me to call SSA or go to my SSA local office to file a claim to add my dependent to my benefits. I was given a time and date for phone interview, and SSA did not call me and lied about having called twice and left me a message. I had my phone all day long, watching it like a hawk. So I opted for an interview at my local office. The next available face-to-face interview is January 6, 2016. Will this delay the payment center from calculating my monthly and back pay amount? When I filled for disability, my dependents were one of the things I filled out on their questionnaire. I also gave the lady information such as his social security number, birth date, and so forth over the phone.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tanya,

      Your own benefit should not “lose its place in line” in the payment center while waiting for the application for your children. Listing the children on your application makes their filing date the same as yours if you follow through and file the actual application for them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tanya

        Thanks so much for responding.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Tanya.

    • Nicole N

      Hey Tanya
      what did you have to do at the interview at the local office. I was approved day of my hearing. received approval letter. then recieved a message from my local office that said they were sending me a letter in mail that has time and date for me to come into office to start my benefits. Just wondering what i need to expect and to bring with me.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Nicole,

        This site is not set up for visitors to answer one another’s questions; however, I will respond. If you applied for Social Security, your interview may be for you to provide banking informationor to complete your children’s applications. If you applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will be asked to confirm and document your income and assets and your addresses and living arrangements from the time you applied up to present.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Toni

    I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastasic Breast Cancer in July and my application was approved in September. However, I’m reconsidering going back to work. I have not received any SSD payments yet. If I return to work and some where down the line my health is compromised, how difficult will it be to get SSD again. Also, my application was fast tracked because of the diagnosis, but why the long waiting period before you can get money? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Toni,

      It typically takes one to two months for benefits to start after medical approval. I can answer your question about returning to work and getting benefits later if you can provide me with some dates. First, what is the date of disability that Social Security established for you? Second, have you worked since that date and if so for how long and how much did you make that month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Adry Garcia

    Good evening! I had recently applied for SSDI benefits on October 14th, 2015 & around the 1st of December, I received a letter stating that I was “informally denied” SSI benefits because on my SSDI application, I accidentally said I did not want to apply for those SSI benefits as well. Does that mean that I would have been approved SSI if I initially applied for them as well as SSDI? That same week, I received the adult function report, supplemental pain questionnaire, and third party contact sheets starting they needed a little more information about my disabilities. I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, fibromyalgia, cardiomegaly, 2 herniated discs, facet disease, disc disease, renal cyst, kidney stones, follicular cysts, frequent syncope, parathesia, and I have PROBABLE Multiple Sclerosis (not 100% diagnosed but have all signs from by mri & lumbar puncture except for the o-bands not being present in my spinal fluid). I’ve had most since birth, but symptoms started about 20 months ago, after I had my son. A few days after I received all those papers with the function report, I received a piece of mail from social security marked URGENT on the front of the envelope which had a cardiac disability questionnaire. I had to go to the ss office to change my onset date because I was confused about that when applying online and entered the incorrect date and the man told me he had to check if my application was at the office of the DDS or if it were at their office and it was at the DDS office and they had received my fax back with all the paper work I filled out and faxed back. He had me talk to a claims examiner to fix the date and to apply for SSI. My question for this is, since he didn’t know if my claim was at the DDS office or at their office, does that mean my claim was approved since he thought it may be back at their office already and had to check? Is it a good sign that I wasn’t denied right off of the bat and sent additional papers to fill out and send back? I am only 27 years old and was just laid off from my current position due to medical issues. I’m very much in need of being awarded disability, as I can’t take care of myself without help everyday from friends and family, yet alone take care of my son at all by myself. I can’t drive anymore or shower by myself or wash my own hair or go to the bathroom by myself, etc. Do you know how long it should take for a decision since the man said the DDS had reviewed my answers on the paperwork I faxed back in already, on Monday? Please help.

    Thank you,
    Adry.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Adry,

      It is hard to interpret specific verbal statements. Usually I would say that the local office would not have known that the most recent forms had been reviewed unless a decision had been made; however, because you were changing your claimed disability date, there might have been some communication between the local office and the DDS that revealed the information even though a decision had not been made. Changing the claim date of disability will require at least some additional review, especially if it is earlier than the date previously claimed. A medical decision could be rendered with a few days or a few weeks of their receiving everything.

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability requires the same level of disability as Social Security and the claim has to go through the same medical review process, so you would not have been automatically approved for SSI had you filed at the same time as you filed the Social Security claim. The difference is that the SSI will be paid more quickly and does not have a five-month unpaid waiting period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Miss P.

    Hello, questions.
    mental and physical disability claim. Originally tried to get DARS in Tx to find me work suitable for my bipolar and ptsd as well as HNP and other physical issues. He sent me to have CE with psych and functional, had those assessments done back in June 2015, I guess or around there. Nothing panned out for work anywhere. Got one job, lasted a month before they term’d me due to excessive issues having to do with my disabilities. That ended in August 2015. AFter still not being able to find any other work, my DARS counselor suggested I go ahead and apply for disability to secure my situation and get some better help. I ended up in psych ward for about a week, couldn’t get it together. Finally officially filed in Sept with my psych office doing the paperwork for me, as a rep for me.
    I got sent to DDS within a month. Through all my appts and MRI’s and testing and therapy, I stayed in touch with my DDS gal, making sure if I needed to, that I got her stuff to her. I talked to her today, she finished my case this morning and sent back to the SSA for the decision letter. She said she didn’t know how long until I received my decision letter due to the holidays.
    They were in contact with my DARS counselor and I am sure he told them my stuff dealing with him and all that with the consultations,etc. They never sent me to any additional ones. She said she had stuff from my pulmo, ent, pcp, testing folks, psych, neuro, cardio, etc. I filled out all the ADL and work and medical histories.
    My question is, does it seem as if she probably was able to approve me? She told me if I need to wait for a letter or try to call the SSA office to get more information if they are able to give it to me, she said she wasn’t sure if they could over the phone??
    I have two kids, single mom, last long term job over 6 months was in 2012. my dr wanted specific work adjustments, my employer did not accomodate them, I eneded up resigning, going on unemployment because the unemployment officer told my employer that they shouldnt deny my unemployment if they were unable to accomodate my disability. I have tried so many different jobs since then. at least ten in 2014. Lasting anywhere from 2 days to only 3 months. It looks really bad but I tried to find something, I have two kids for goodness sake. I am just so nervous and anxious to know if it looks as if maybe that wording she used may indicate perhaps I was approved medically??
    What else does going back to SSA mean, like what else do they need to do I guess is what I mean? Once medical is complete? sorry, I am a bit disorganized in thought, hope you understand my questions.
    Thanks so much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Miss P.,

      I can’t say for sure whether your claim has been approved or denied, but the wording of the DDS employee seems to indicate that you may have been approved.. If you have been denied, you should have a letter within a week. If you filed a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, the local office has to calculate payment amount and then send the letter. If your filed a Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim, a central payment center has to release payment and send notice. If you filed for both SSI is paid before SSDI. If your filed for SSI and the local office has not contacted you within about a week, I suggest that you check to see whether they have received the file back and ask whether they need anything from you. That might allow you to find out verbally whether you have been approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Miss P.

        Thanks for replying so fast, I appreciate it. And my advocate at the mental health center says they always file for both for the patients. I had enough on my SSD to get about 1050 I believe and my family about half of that. I have worked all ten years in one thing or another. I also gave them old psych and neuro paperwrk from 2000 stating on paperwk I was totally disabled and a few papers from older psych stays (older than 10 yrs) she submitted that. I gave the same to the CE that DARS sent me to for the psych eval for DARS back in the summer before he did his exam.
        I have one more question, if they see I was disabled and qualified for a year back since i left my last full time job in 2012 due to the employer (was with them for 4 yrs) not accomodating medical direction from my dr about the sitting and other stuff so i had to resign and now, since, i havent had a job last longer than 3 months, will they put the onset date to a year back and give me back pay perhaps? I ask this because i think the advocate/rep only put the date i applied and no other date??? does SSA change dates themselves to benefit the patient if they get enough medical evidence to see the disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Miss P.,

          I recommend that you contact Social Security and correct the disability date you are claiming to the 2012. You will not be paid that far back; but the earlier onset date, if established might qualify you for Social Security Disability, not just Supplemental Security Income. When you correct the date, do it in writing and also provide the dates of the short jobs you have had since then and why you left each.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Miss P

            Hi, adding on…I spoke with SSA local office finally. Was told I was approved medically and deemed disabled by the DDS and now am awaiting processing. Any idea if it sounds as if my case is approved? What else would they need to do now?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Miss P.,

              You have been told that your claim has been approved. You are now waiting for payment to be calculated and paid, which can take from a month to two months or more.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kathy

            Hello, I applied for ssdi on June 16, 2015. Talk to my case examiner & was told a decision was made on Dec 16 but now I learned my claim is being review by quality control. Does that mean I was denied & how long does that take?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Kathy,

              The quality assurance review will determine whether the decision previously reached to approve your claim was correctly determined or not. If the review agrees that the decision was correct, it will be upheld. If the quality review determines more information was needed to make a determination, more review will be done and possibly more evidence requested. The last possibility is that the quality assurance review could result in a denial. The review can take from a couple weeks to a month or more.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Precious

    Hello! So I filed for ssi online in July for my son, (he’s autistic), but I had to wait for all the paperwork from early intervention and his doctors to go in the local office and file (it said to go to a local office when I finished the application online). So it took awhile and I went in November. I wanted to know if they will consider July or November as the filing date to receive payments. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Precious,

      The filing date will be in July.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robert N.

    Hi there,

    Quick question…I applied for SSDI in August for my wife. She is Bi-Polar and has Paranoid Anxiety, Depression, Anger and back issues. She has been fired from multiple jobs for not being able to adjust to a working life style and not being able to complete simple job tasks, show up to work or work with others. She went to her appointment with the Psychologist on November 11th, I talked with the Disability Determinations guy today and he said that he closed her file on the 2nd of December and it has been sent to the Federal office, then off to the Social Security office and then we will receive a letter. Does this most likely mean she’s been approved? Thanks for any input!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      The information that you have is too vague to know whether your wife has been approved or not. If she has been denied, I recommend appealing with an experienced Social Security attorney. 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 before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christine

    Hello Kay,
    I applied for SSI for my 23 year old daughter at the local Social Security Office in July of 2015. She has Apergers and a long history of anxiety, and personality disorder symptoms. She has been unable to hold a job since graduating high school.
    The Determination Office received the case at the beginning of August, and called me with a quick question. Two days later I called them back to ask them a question. They said they were done at their end, and the case was sent back to the local social security office, and I should direct my question to them.
    I still haven’t heard anything yet. Should I assume the ssi will most likely be denied because they were done reviewing her case in two days? And if they did deny it right away, would it take 4 months to send a denial letter?
    Thanks, Christine

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christine,

      First, check to be sure your daughter did not receive a letter. If not, something has fallen through the cracks. Either a letter was sent that didn’t reach your daughter or the claim was medically approved and the local office hasn’t taken action to pay it. I suggest that you and your daughter go into the office to check on it. If it was denied, she needs to go on record with a written statement that the day day you and she went into the office was the first notice she go. This is important if she wants to appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Christine

        Thank you, Kay.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Christine.

      • Dear tinya

        I went to court March 11th .I was denied awhile ago.but then I got a court date I’ve had two back surgeries with another surgery pending on back I’ve had a surgery one every year for past 4 years .my Dr sent a letter saying I suffer from conic back pain .along with pain management .at the hearing the social security man stated he has no job for me with the no lifting over 5 pounds I suffer from dizzy spell off balance 4 bulging disc .arthritis. ,and degenerative spine ,went to court March 11th 2016 I has no lawyer but they said I provided every thing they needed from all dr’s and surgeries .how much longer will it take to hear something or receive a letter.do u think I have a change of being approved

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tinya,

          The guideline is for you to get a decision withing sixty days of the hearing. From the information you provided, I would say that Whether or not you are approved will depend on your ability to work in a job with no lifting.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Joe

      I used to be on SSDI, but missed the required medical appointment about a year and a half into receiving benefits. Therefore they revoked my benefits. I reapplied and am still waiting on a decision. I used to get paid a good amount per month with SSDI, enough to pay health insurance and medicines.

      On my new application I put my new bank account and haven’t received any deposit yet, or letter that it’s been approved. HOWEVER, I just received a deposit to the account I used to have linked to my SSDI payments, but the deposit is very low, much lower than I was receiving.

      What might this mean?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Joe,

        It is possible that you have been medically approved and that you applied for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI payments are made first, are often lower than Social Security, and stop when the higher SSDI starts. You should get a letter within seven to ten days. In the meantime, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the payment is SSI.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Chelsea

    Dear Kay,

    I am currently on SSI, and have been for about 5 years. I have an inherited connective tissue disease and mental health issues. I have tried to work time and time again, but my repeated surgeries and declining condition have made it impossible to keep a job, and I feel it would be in my best interests to apply for SSDI. I am at the point that I have accrued enough credits I’m now eligible for SSDI. My question is, if I apply for SSDI, will I have to submit my medical documentation all over again? Or is there a different process for those already approved for SSI? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chelsea,

      I believe that Social Security will adopt the SSI medical decision for your Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim. If so, you have to file a claim, but there will be no medical review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mike

    I received my 6 months of EXR SSDI June through Nov. 2015. SS office has determine me a disabled, but are still in the process on making a decision. I called the office and the national line to see if they determine to reinstate my SSDI benefits a number of times. I have received many different answers, the last answer was that it’s now at the “processing money center”. Is this a good sign that I will be reinstated?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      If you claim is in the processing center for payment, it means that your application for expedited reinstatement of benefits has been medically approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mike

        Kay,
        Question, could I be denied from the processing center. Here is my concern, I made no income 2011,2012,2013, but I made income $46 k (self employed) in June 2014, after making the money, my disability effect my work again, so since then I didn’t work or make any income. The SS office said my case was unique? not sure what they meant by that. It’s now 2 months and did not receive an answer to denied or approved. What do you think the hold up is? SS local office and Nat’l line did say it takes up to 60-90 days, but if I was not approved wouldn’t they let me know ASAP?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mike,

          I am assuming that you claimed disability before your work in 2014. My response is based on that assumption. The payment processing center could stop approval of your claim if your 2014 work was considered an indication that you are in fact able to work. However, if the disability determination services or judge was aware of your work and approved the claim after June 2014, it is less likely that would occur. The unusual situation is that few people earn $46,000 in one month, especially when not working before or after than month. If you were paid $46,000 in one month for work you did over several months, your work activity over those months would be evaluated. If you were disabled less than twelve months before you started the work and your work activity was less than three months or under some circumstances less than six months, it could be treated as an unsuccessful work attempt. If you were disabled twelve months before working, the work months could be applied to a Trial Work Period. In either case, benefits could be paid. Lastly, the sixty to ninety days is mostly waiting your turn and is not an indication of approval or denial.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Mike

            Kay,
            It’s now 2/12/2016 and I have not heard back from SS on my decision, last reinstatement payment made on Nov. 2 2015. Is this usual for them to take so long? I have had a number of calls with the National line and the SS office in mass, they tell me it’s at the processing center, but it’s been there for almost a month. My situation, end stage renal disease, so I’m getting close to running out of money to pay for medications, The SS office in Mass. doesn’t really respond well, they just tell me” you just have to wait”, plus the agent handling my case never return my calls and never spoke to me (always when I call they patch me to their line and I get a answering machine). . At least at the National level, they did say they put a rush on it because it’s a “Dire Need Situation”. But they have done that 3 times, they told me to call back in 2 weeks. any suggestions on what I should do?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Mike,

              Because of your medical condition, I suggest that you contact your congressperson’s office to see if they will follow up for you. Explain that you have been medically reinstated and are awaiting pay. Be sure to have dates of when you got notice of medical approval for reinstatement.

              In the meantime, check with your doctor to see if any medical samples are available and start checking with the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture your medications to see whether they will provide a temporary supply. Some companies will do so.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • LaTonya

    Hello!

    I finally had my hearing for ssd / ssi on November 16, I called today and was told an decision was mailed out to my Po Box on November 25, the lady from SS asked if I had check my box, I told her the last time I checked it was on Saturday, she asked if I had trouble getting to my Po Box I told her no, she went on to tell me of the “FAVORIABLE DECISION” was made in my behalf 🙂 she also stated that some from SS will call me for an interview, my question is, does this mean that I am approved or should I not get my hopes up until I receive something in writing.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear LaTonya,

      It is unusual for the hearing office to give you the decision over the phone, but there is no reason not to believe that you have been approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • caren helmich

        Well i have been diagnosed with severe ptsd dependent personality disorder and severe insomnia and depression.. i also have mersa, as well as glacoma. I was working on my disability application. A lady from social security wanted to ask me questions, however it wasnt finished yet. It now is and i will be calling the lady back today. Is this a good sighn that my disability claim will be aproved? If not whats next?
        Thank you
        Caren

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Caren,

          I do not have enough information to render an opinion. Usually claims decisions are not revealed over the phone, so you may need to wait for a letter.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • patricia jones

    I applied for ssi for my son who has chronic asthma and was recently diagnosed as a diabetic. I called the claim agent who was handling the case and he stated that he made his decision Nov 17, 2015 and that my son file was sent back to our local office. I waited a couple of days and one person said that I should get a letter within a couple of days. The next 2 people I spoke with said his claim was still pending and I should call back on Dec 1. My question is, is this a good sign or a bad sign? Thanks for your input.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patricia,

      The computer system may show the claim as still pending even though the medical decision has been made. If you do not have a notice of decision by December 5, follow-up with the local office to find out whether they received the file and how to get a duplicate letter released.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hello Kay:
    I had a hearing on the 5th of November and as I thought that everything went well and the judge told me that he may or may not keep my case open for two weeks. After the Vocational Expert said that there were no jobs I could no longer perform. Asked my lawyer did he want to add anything he said no if you are going by the RFC findings. So the judege states that he would still need my records from my nuero but he wants to go ahead and get it to the writers……well I thought this was ok since I changed my onset date also…..but today I receive a letter from my lawyer’s office asking for authorization of my mental records…..why would they be asking this after my hearing!? Totally confused……HELP

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cathy,

      At the hearing the judge was saying he was going to approve the claim and send it for letter writing but might decide to keep the case open [for additional evidence to document the decision]. Apparently, he decided that he needed the records and he or the attorney needs an authorization to get them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Thanks Kay for all of your post and advice it has been hard for me and my family especially being a victim of a violent crime….. My stress level is through the roof. But I still smile and I called the attorney office and they needed and updated authorization form due to it being expired…. So that’s what they told me….
        Thanks a million
        Cathy

        • What is depending decision writing

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Cathy,

            Pending decision writing means the judge has made a decision and a decision letter is being prepared.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Cathy.

  • lesa

    hello, i have a few questions i called binder and applied for ssi and ssd they said my case sounds like they could take it on because i have bi polar, sever anxiety panic attacks agoraphobia mood disorder i just was recently diagnosed with SMI (seriously mentally ill) i also have a herniated disc in my lower back ive had many back injections and all have failed also chronic pain and fibromyalgia…the person that went over my application said to call SSA so i did well i have a phone interview coming up next week what should i expect? i have serious anxiety just thinking about the whole situation.. what are your thoughts on it? is it even worth trying to pursue? do i have a case? thank you for your time

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lesa,

      I suggest that you follow your attorney’s advice and pursue the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tamara

    Hi i applied for ssi for my daughter july 21 2015.. They did not know they had all the paperwork til i called and they looked thru them which was the beginning of november. I has a account but closed it they tild me to call the local office i did. She told me that i couldnt keep the account anyway because it was not in my daughter name. I wanted to know hiw long will it take to get a decision letter and will it take long then normal because of all these issues they have had with my case
    Thanks in advance

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tamara,

      There has already been a delay in the processing of your daughter’s claim so it is going to take longer than normal. It may take a couple months from now. The account needs to be set up with a title “your daughter’s name by your name, representative payee.”

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Krystee

    Hello, not sure if I am posting in the right area, but I have a question. My fiancee applied for disability back in January or February of this year(we can’t remember) anyhow, we never got a letter or email or anything telling us whether or not he was denied or approved. Well, today he got a letter in the mail from social security that (in a nuttshell) said that he has indicated he has/or intends to collect workers comp, and that they need to know if they are paying him the right amount. Now, he never mentioned anything about workers comp when applying, or ever to them, but the letter suggests he is getting disability. We are excited and confused. What does this mean? We checked the website, but it says he isn’t receiving benefits. Can’t find any way to check if there is any pending approvals or anything. Did he get approved and we didn’t know?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Krystee,

      I believe that your husband has been approved and the payment center is checking to be sure workers compensation offset does not apply. I suggest that your husband respond to the letter as directed saying that he has not received workers comp and doesn’t expect to (if I understood correctly) or send proof of his workers comp rate and dates of benefits if he is getting workers comp. Then also visit the local office with the letter or call 800-772-1213 and ask whether the letter is an indication of medical approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • rose bell

    I an so confused i went thru the whole ssi process and ended up in court well it was oct 13 2015 i got a notice on 11/6/2015 judge agreed and gave me a fully favorable Decision im confused on whats next what should i be doing im in the process of losing everything and i need to get the money rolling can anyone tell me what to do

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      I suggest that you contact your local Social Security office and ask them to submit a dire need notification to the payment center to see if that can speed up payment, which usually takes about sixty days to start after a hearing. In the meantime, I suggest that you talk to your creditors and show them the judge’s approval letter. Maybe they will hold off on any repossessions once they know you will have income and back pay to catch up the arrears.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • MARY

    Hello
    My name is Mary I had my hearing friday Nov 20th my medical problems are severe osteoarthritus ,Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias and dwarfism I am only 4 ft 7 I had a total hip replacement in july of this year. I was in front of the judge for an hr also I think I had a crappy lawyer. the judge ask the voc rehab guy three questions adding and taking away thinga one answer was high one was low jobs and the last was 0 jobs I was wondering what that meant and how will that effect my answer. I tried to talk to my lawyer but he was in to big a hurry to answer all he said was I did good and that it started out good and then he left I have really no clue what went on

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      To know what “high” and “low” meant, I would have to know the questions asked.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • MARY

        I couldnt hear the judge very well but he kept taking and adding things to the questions I know the first answer from the voc rehab was 8000 jobs open the second question he took away limitations and the voc rehab guy said 300.000 jobs then the judge added a list of limitations and the the voc rehab guy said 0 I have still tried to reach my attorney with no luck so I am guessing that my answer will be a NO

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          If the judge believes your claim supports the limitations you have say you have and the vocational expert said you cannot perform any jobs because of the limitations, your claim will be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Angie

    I applied July 17, 2015 and found out today that a decision was made on Nov.18th. They said it was sent back to my local office. I called my local office and she said a determination was made and they have until Dec.2nd to send my letter and if I haven’t received my letter by then to give them a call. Does this sound like a denial? I have carpal tunnel, disc out of place in my back, swelling of knees and legs, can only sit and st an for an hour at a time.

    • Angie

      I just wanted add that this is an initial claim.

      • Angie

        Well i got my denial letter today.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      I can’t be sure, but the information you received does sound like a denial. Otherwise, you might have been asked for some additional information that was needed to set up payment. If you are denied and disagree with the decision, when you get the letter you can appeal. If you do so, it would be helpful to get a copy of your claim file so you can see the exact reasons for the denial and address why the reasons are wrong.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Diana waddell

        Kay,
        I applied October 2015. I called social security and they told me to contact local office i called local office and they told me my letter was sent November 17 2015. The decision was fast what does that mean? I was diagnosed with degenerative disc desease and cervical stenosis of spine.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Diana,

          How long the decision pended doesn’t determine the outcome. The quick decision probably means that the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in your area is current in their workload and that you either submitted a lot of supporting information about your condition or your physicians responded very quickly to requests for information.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Na Thomas

        Kay

        I was recently diagnosis with Stage 3 Colon Cancer. The DDEO ladies at the hospital applied for SSDI and SSI for me. I have no insurance and cannot afford chemotherapy or any of the medical test I am being sent to. I called SS and was told my case is at State Level for determination. Can you please help me understand how much longer I have to wait for a decision. Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Na,

          New claims typically take from two to five months for a decision. I suggest that you apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The annual open enrollment period is in progress now through January 31. If you apply by the end of December, insurance coverage will start in January. If your family income is low enough, you may be eligible for Medicaid or a government subsidy to help cover premiums for another insurance. you can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Na Thomas

            I recently was hospitalized this week and was told I have full coverage Medicaid starting the month of December 2015. I received no letter or medicaid card in the mail about this decision. Does this mean I am approved for SSI also if so how long does it take to receive a letter.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Na,

              If you did not apply for Medicaid separately from your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application, you may have been approved for SSI. If so, you should be getting your first payment and approval letter soon. If you haven’t checked your bank account recently, I suggest doing so because often the first payment is received before the letter is sent.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Natasha

            Dear Kay
            I went to my hearing in September 2, 2015 and I haven’t recieved a letter of decision yet. But call Monday on 30 of Nov. the representative at Social Security told me I’ll here something from them before they will. So I call back Thurs.on Dec 3 and she turn me off so nasty after she ask for my information and told me I was denied but still I haven’t recieved a letter yet.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Natasha,

              It is unusual that a denial decision would be given out over the phone. I suggest that you call the hearing office, where you can probably get more reliable information about whether or not a hearing decision has been made and, if so, whether the letter has been sent.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Precious

    I was supposed to receive a telephone interview and they never called… What should I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Precious,

      If you were given a specific date for a phone interview and Social Security did not call, you need to call Social Security or visit your Social Security office right away to report that you waited for the call, that it didn’t come in, and that you want to reschedule it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi Kay,

    My husband is 31 and we have a almost 16yo son…anyhow I applied for SSDI for him on 9/22/15 and on 11/5/15 they called and said he was approved! They asked for some info about our son and said I would receive a approval letter and some info on the mail, anyhow it’s only been a few weeks and online I can see that my husband has been approved, along with a verification letter and his amount, but I can’t see anything about my son at all…is this something I should worry about or just wait longer to see if they ever mail me anything like they said?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pink,

      Dependent benefits are usually paid after the disabled worker’s benefits have started. If you haven’t received benefits for your son by a month after your husband’s benefits start, I suggest asking the local office to follow up with the payment center.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • susan

        Hi mrs kay I was try to figure out wat are the step in getting disability I applied 2 months ago a week ago they call to get my date I became dis abbliy and the want my check stubs . They told me it just went to the medical board. Wat does it mean.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Susan,

          The office apparently wanted your pay stubs to be sure you were insured for Social Security Disability and/or your income is low enough for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The information apparently allowed them to determine that you meet the non-eligibility criteria and, therefore, they sent your claim for medical review. (This long delay in sending the claim for medical review is not typical.) I can take two months or more to get the medical decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nicole Pinkel

            The Judge deterimined m de fully disabled, My attorney adviised me to wave my SSI ,because my benefits are more,
            Eligible for for SSi because I waved rights, and after review not elegible and not eligible for any SS. Does that include ineligible for my SSD.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nicole,

              The way you have worded your question, I am not sure of your situation. I can’t tell whether you accidentally withdrew both your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSDI) claims or you received a letter with form language in it that says not eligible for other benefits. I suggest that you take the letter to your local Social Security office and check to be sure that your Social Security claim is still being processed for payment. If it is not, get in touch with your attorney right away.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • celina abreu

    Hi My son was just approved for ssi, I went on Tuesday for an interview for the living arrangement. They told me they can not send out a check that I needed to make a checking account for my son with in a week I did the account yesterday and called them today giving the Information, the lady told me that December payment would go on the account. I told her but they told me the back pay they told me It would go on the account, and she said if you want to believe that you can but it been process. So my question is will I receive a check or get direct deposit, and how many days will it take we are already ending the month

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Celina,

      I think you may have a typographical error in the middle of your post so I am not clear on exactly what the representative told you about the back pay, but I think you are saying that she told you that the back pay would come by check and the December monthly payment would go to the bank account. In any event, I suggest that you both watch the mailbox and check the bank account frequently.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Courtney Taylor

    My case was approved and now I’m waiting to get an interview to become my daughter payee. I was wondering how long is this process and when will I be notified ?
    After I do payee paperwork how long will it be til I received the money

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Courtney,

      If you have been approved for Social Security Disability, usually your benefits will be started before the dependent’s benefits are processed; however, the local office may take your payee application before then. If have not been contacted within about two weeks of the medical approval, contact your local office and request an appointment for the interview. (It can take a month or two to get your benefits started.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Courtney Taylor

        Are you saying that I could receive a check even though I have not done payee paper work?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Courtney,

          No, you will have to complete a payee application; however, the timing on when that is requested can vary.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Courtney Taylor

            Okay thanks for taking your time to explain the answers to me……

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Courtney.

  • RON

    HELLO AGAIN KAY, I AM FUMING TONIGHT. AFTER WAITING 3 MONTHS FOR A DECISION ON MY RECON FOUND OUT FROM ANOTHER EXAMINER THAT MY EXAMINER LIED ABOUT SENDING PAPER TO MY DOCTOR FOR TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT. HE SAID NOTHING WAS DONE SINCE AUG AND WAS SENDING EMAIL TO LIGHT A FIRE. I THINK HE DENIED ME BECAUSE HE GOT IN TROUBLE. THE LETTER STATES THAT THE PRIOR DECISION WAS CORRECT BUT IT STATED MY CONDITION WAS NOT SEVERE THEN AND I NEEDED TO FIND ANOTHER JOB. THE NEW LETTER SAID MY IMPAREMENTS ARE SEVERE BUT NOT ENOUGH TO LAST 12 MOS IN A ROW. I HAVE MED SOURCE STATEMENT STATING FAILED ALL TREATMENT IMPROVEMENT NOT LIKELY DUE TO SPECIFIED IMPAREMENTS AND SCS WILL BE NEXT TO MASK PAIN. I NOW HAVE STIMULATOR IMPLANTED A MONTH AND HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR 9 MOS. I DONT THINK HE USED ANY UPDATED RECORDS OBTAINED AFTER MY INITIAL APPLICATION BECAUSE I HAVE MET THE LISTING FOR SPINE DISORDERS 1.04A AND NEUROLOGICAL 11.00C 11.04B AND 11.14. IF I AM CORRECT SEVERE IMPAREMENT MEANS CONDITION THAT PREVENTS INDIVIDUAL FROM DOING ANY GAINFUL ACTIVITY

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ron,

      All you can do now is file an appeal disputing the reasons for the denial that were given in the last denial. If you meet the listings (the diagnosis and the specific clinical or test findings detailed in the listing, you would be eligible for benefits if the condition has lasted or is expected to last twelve months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Taylor

    I had a hearing on august 12th and the judge requested more medical records for my son. He has severe ADHD. They received the records before the end of august. the judge made her decision on September 29th and it was sent to he decision writer and the decision writer return it back to the judge on October 29th. Now the judge has the information back for review and editing if needed. Question how much longer do I have to wait before I hear anything. Do you think she approved my son case with her making a decision with a months time? Please shed some light on my current situation please.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Taylor,

      The amount of time a judge takes to make a decision is not a sign or approval or denial. Your judge made the decision in less time than many, so she may review the letter this month. If it doesn’t need editing, she will sign it and it will go out right after the review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I called social security today and they told me they made a decision on the 5th of the month however I have not received anything and my claim number is not available. Is something wrong
    I applied July and have been off work since April 2015

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janet,

      You should receive a notice of medical approval or denied any day now. If you don’t have the letter by Monday’s mail, I suggest you contact your local office to find out if it has been sent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melanie

    Hi,Kay am Melanie I had a question what do it mean if the DDs worker say a desicion been made today but he can’t tell me anything to just wait a few days in call my local office

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melanie,

      Decisions are not given out over the phone. Because the examiner said to call your local office, rather than wait for a letter, your claim may have been medically approved and you were told to call because a financial update is needed for a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim; however, I cannot be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • superstar

    hello i am back again you gave me good advice the first time, so now i am back, so you were right ssi ask hiim to go to a mental exam which was today 11/14/15, at 8:oo now pat has a hard time of being on time but we actually check in at 8:10 after finding the place but i thought that was pretty good for him, usually its a lot latter but i had to be at work too of course, however the lady at the front desk hands him some papers and tells him to complete them and to return it back to her when hes finished seemed pretty normal for me, so pat hands me the papers cause he doesn’t read or write very well so i am filling out these papers asking him the questions and writing down his answers just like the disability papers that we had got, there were 4 papers 2 of them front and back, pat did get up and leave for a couple of min while i was still filling them out, things that i know about him, he comes back i asked him the other questions that i didn’t know. their was one family ahead of us she said her appt was at 8 too, while i was filling out the papers i seen another lady really rushing as if when she was coming in the office and she went into the back (okay she must work here) so we continue to fill it out and these are very detailed questions, the people get seen and come out really fast and leave, we were the only people in the waiting room i filing out the papers with pat, then the lady that came in as if she was in a rush comes out and said really loud YOU are taking to long to fill out 3 little pages your appt is almost over you only have 1 hour, my next patient is coming in 10 min, for one i never knew that the application you fill out was part of the hour, 2 she wasn’t their at 8 anyway she was later then we were, of course i knew when she was yelling the way she did that pat was going to say something cause of his disability and anger issues, then she said why are you yelling and me, i calmed him down cause he did start to yell then the lady went back in her office i really did try to finish the last page but after that i was a little disturbed that i couldn’t finish writing cause i was shaking so i wrote on the back of the page cause i think disability sees that paper that we couldn’t finish because the lady came out and yelled at us to finish, my question is what do i do about this i have never experienced this in my life usually when we go to the doctors they will still call the patient in and i continue to fill it out in their office i really didn’t know that the paper was part of the hour we were in the waiting room i hope this doesn’t stop his disability. also she came back out after the secretary girl gave her the papers and saids i cant see you, we said thats fine i ask for the papers back she wouldnt give them back i ask for her name they wouldnt tell us, so yes i said i think she was being very racist towards us for no reason at all, iam so mad right now i want call and complain to someone.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Superstar,

      You and Pat need to report what happened right away to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) claims examiner who asked Pat to attend the appointment. Explain it in the same detail that you explained it to me. This is important because otherwise his claim may be denied for lack of information.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lauren Muterspaw

        I applied for SSI for my daughters , they were preemies and one has hip dysplasia . I applied October 30TH , in person , and still haven’t heard anything . How much longer until I know ? Their medical bills are PILING .

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lauren,

          Processing of new claims typically takes from two to five months. I suggest that you contact your local social services office to see whether the children qualify for Medicaid. Or, they might qualify for insurance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can get more information at http://www.healthcare.gov.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Bridgette

          Whats the hotline number

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Bridgette,

            The phone number for Social Security’s call center is 1-800-772-1213.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Teresa Jones

    Hello

    My name is Teresa, and my question is this. I applied for ssdi on or about July 2015 for various medical problems. On October 5th I received a letter from ssa stating that I was approved for the medical portion and that I would receive a letter after they determine the non-medical. does this mean I am approved? I have not heard anything else from ssa since 10/5/15 p.s I know I have more than enough work credits.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Teresa,

      It can take about two months to get Social Security Disability benefits started. If you haven’t received benefits by the end of December, I suggest you follow up.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Teresa Jones

        Thank you Kay for taking the time to address my question.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Teresa.

          • Damien

            Question. I applied for ask in july. I got a letter that says I have been approved for benefits. That in two weeks I need to come into local office to update record for pay, ….or something like that I don’t have letter in front of me.

            I have not been askednor given paper work to set up direct deposit.

            What can I expect at my appointment, and how long will it take to get my money. I need a place to live desperately. What’s t h e time frame…will they ask me or have me fill out paper work for direct deposit.

            And when I try to add my bank info on ssa website.it says contact us. It won’t let me add. When I get to the end of the process. And try to submit it.

            It says my estimated benefits are not applicable
            Then below.that says last reported earnings 7000$ in 2014.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Damien,

              Take your bank information to the appointment and ask for direct deposit then. Also, at the interview, request dire need processing of your back pay because you need to obtain housing. If you can quantify how much you need for move in costs that might be helpful.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Courtney Taylor

    I applied for ssi for my daughter she was admitted to a clinic and was tested and told she was suffering with bipolar and depression… She stayed a week and a day and was let go with meds. The worker told me to apply for ssi and I did July 15 in Louisiana. I moved to Texas in August and transferd case . She see an outpatient clinic for meds and a therapist comes out once a week to see her. Ssi sent us to there doctor October 29 and now we are waiting on feedback for an answer. I called this morning and was told they couldn’t tell me over the phone. I’m confused does that mean she was denied

    • Courtney Taylor

      I called back and was told by my case worker that a descion was made and I should hear from them next week. Then I called the hotline and was told that a decision was made on the 9th but its not saying if I was approved or denied. She said she would send an email over for them to give me a answer. So what does this mean?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Courtney,

        The information you got means that a decision has been made on your claim and that you should be getting a written decision letter soon telling you whether you have been medically approved or denied.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Courtney,

      Usually the Disability Determination Services (DDS) will tell you if a claim is still being worked on; however, decisions are not given out verbally. Given that you were told they couldn’t tell you anything, I believe that a decision has been made on the claim and that written notification is in process.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Courtney Taylor

        Thank you for answering my question.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Courtney.

          • Courtney Taylor

            If the case was transfered from DARS back to the office does that mean it was approved

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Courtney,

              Transfer to the local office does not necessarily mean the claim has been approved, just that a decision has been made.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Erica

        I have a question if the one that’s say you can’t work is he the one that has the saying cause they didn’t tell me if I was approve

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Erica,

          On an initial claim or first appeal, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) contracted by Social Security makes the decision regarding whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security law. On a second appeal, the judge makes the decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jasmin

            Hi Kay i wanted to ask a question. I went to my hearibg Dec 2015 and im still waiting on a decision my lawyer called me yesterday and said the judge or someone from tge odar office called them asking about my earnings last year do that mean i will be denied because i stilled tried to work but it wasn’t successful? Thank you any opinion would help

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Jasmin,

              If you worked less than six months and stopped due to your illness, the work will not keep you from getting a favorable decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Susan S.

    Hello- My ex husband is awaiting approval of SSDI and is way behind on paying child support due to his medical conditions. My question is if he is approved, will our 3 children (one of them just turned 18 in October) whom I care for and live with me (we were also married over 10 years and divorced over 2) receive back pay if owed to him? Also his estimate paper he received when he applied says the family maximum is $3538 per month for the children. His payment per month states $1516 for himself. I understand I can receive benefits also being the ex spouse and caring for our children so does that mean I am included in the family maximum amount? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susan,

      If your husband is approved and he is eligible for benefits for a period of time that your oldest child was either under age eighteen or still in high school and under age nineteen, your child will receive benefits for that closed period. The benefits will probably be paid directly to him.

      The amount payable for dependents is the difference between the family maximum and the worker’s (your ex-husband’s) benefit, so up to $2,022 is payable to the eligible children. If you are eligible for a benefit, your benefit would be paid outside the family maximum because you are a divorced spouse. To be eligible, you must be either age sixty-two or have a child in your care who is under age sixteen during months that your husband is eligible for benefits. As soon as you know that your ex-husband has been medically approved, you should go to Social Security and apply to be payee for the minor children, submit high-school attendance forms for your son if he is still in high school, and apply for young divorced spouse’s benefits for yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Susan S.

        Thank you so much for the answer Kay and also thank you for all the help and knowledge you are providing for others:) Sue

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Susan.

  • sheryl

    Dear Kay,

    After 8 LONG years, my SSDI decision WAS FINALLY FULLY APPROVED, however, I have also been receiving SSDI from a concurrent claim… the EOD date was amended from Sept 2009 to Aug 3, 2011 .. I have received my decision letter from the ALJ and the judge amended it CONTINUAL from the EOD date, although rare and understanding that back pay goes from the Aug 2011 date — am I to “assume” that the same conditions apply regarding the award letter? Am I under the impression I still have to wait 30-60 days for my back pay?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sheryl,

      With an established onset date (EOD) of August 3, 2011, the earliest benefits can begin to accrue is February 2012 following the unpaid five-month waiting period. Any benefits due on the appealed claim will be reduced by benefits that you have received from the approved claim for any months that overlap. It may take two months or more for benefits to start, especially because of the review required to determin whether there is one claim has to be offset by another and because a recalculation of benefits may be required if your appealed claim has an EOD that is earlier than the claim on which you are being paid.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • i have an ongoing disability claim and have not been able to access my estimated benefits on the ssa website due to that claim this morning i could see thim does this mean my claim has been denied?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Donald,

      If the amounts are showing as estimates, it could mean the claim has been denied. If so, you should receive a denial letter soon. If you are denied, I suggest getting a copy of your claim file to see the exact reasons. Then if you disagree, appeal with the assistance of an attorney. 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 before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melissa

        Dear Kay,
        If he was denied or approved, what would his verification letter look like? I have had the same problem and now I can see my estimates but my verification letter has my claim # as ss# with the letter A behind it and it shows no amount of estimates or anything. It just says that I requested a letter and could show to others if I like, there was no raise this year for living and that the benefits shown are accurate as of todays date. I would have thought if I were denied it would at least give the amounts of what i’ve made over the years and say i wasn’t receiving any benefits. Any suggestions as to why I have a claim number with the letter A behind it?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Melissa,

          Please see my response to your previous two posts. The verification letter will be blank until you are medically approved and your benefits have been calculated and set up for payment, which can take a month or two after the medical approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • bruce wells

      How do I submit a question for KAY? Thanks.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Bruce,

        Scroll to the bottom of the page below all the other questions and answers and you should be able to post a comment.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Tamara L

    Dear Kay

    I applied for SSDI for my son hey has ADHD and I applied back in june for him when I call the office all they tell me is that it is still pending and they also give me a date of nov 5 when I should receive a letter they also stated that they sent my son paper work to the local man office for processing what does that mean do you think he is approved . I soon will they deny you if you apply some people told me they will get a letter fast after they had applied so being that it has be months does that mean he is approved

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tamara,

      The length of time a claim pends is not an indicator of whether or not the claim will be approved. If the office you called is the Disability Determination Services (DDS), the statement “sent for processing” might be an indication of approval, but you won’t know for sure until you are notified.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • andromeda l weston

        Hello my spouse has 12.05 listing major depressive disorder recurring, severe completely death in right ear and moderate hearing in left ear with hearing aides recommended. He talks slow moves slow and does not catch on to anything in good time. He was in special education clashes from 1st to 12th grade held back twice. He has document intellectual disability, major depression and deathness. He also has not work more then 75 days in 3 years. He get let go from jobs cause he goes slow. He need constant reminder on doing personal hygiene if not he will not do it. He can’t pay bills go shopping without help. He has lived with his mom and dad all his life as he is not competent enough to live on his own. His psychiatrist said that he could possibly get a job but he can do very few things in a timely manner. She also stated on his RSC that he can get a job as long as he had adequate time to do the job and as long as there was no time limits at all on the job for him to get done. She also wrote that he has a thought disorder. Just wondering what your plan is on him possibly getting approved with that being said. thank you so much

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Andromeda,

          I suggest that your spouse apply for disability benefits. He should list all his conditions as you have done in this post and emphasize his need for redirection and getting fired for working too slow. If there is a time that he worked for any length of time (ending three years ago?), list his disability date at the time he lost that job. And list the other jobs as unsuccessful work attempts.

          If he is denied, I recommend that he hire an experienced Social Security attorney. When he hires a Social Security attorney, 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 the retroactive award before they send his back pay to him.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Angie

        Hello kay im 20 years i would get ssi for my anxiety depression they stopped giving me since i never did an update on my address now i have 2 daughters im a single mom the way i have kids can it affect so i can get my ssi back. The only income im getting is my moms income. What can i do or should do they told me their waiting for medical approval?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Angie,

          Apparently you have filed a disability claim to get your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) reinstated. If that is the case, you will have to wait for the medical decision. In the meantime, you and your daughters may be eligible for SNAP (formerly called food stamps) and possibly Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Christine

      Hi Kay
      I was approved for my daughter to recive ssi and went to the non-medical interview. I had all the paper work that they requested, the only thing I had to do was to get rep payee account and to come back with banking info and routing number. I opened it up today. My question is- do I have to go back to ss office or can I just call the 1800 with the info?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Christine,

        You can try calling in the information and asking the call center to forward it to your claims representative. If they say that they cannot take the information or recommend that you deliver it directly, follow their advice.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • henry

    dear kay i had hearing an i been trying to find out if i been approved or not my doctors says i cant work anymore do to i have spinal stenosis high blood pressure an sleep apena is really bad i have to sleep with oxygen an a cpap machine i have unemployed for 3 years now an i am starting to really struggle

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Henry,

      You will receive the decision by mail. The guideline for the judge to send you a decision letter is sixty days, although it can take longer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • henry

        what are my chances of getting my disability

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Henry,

          I cannot judge whether you are disabled as defined by Social Security law. It will depend on how severely your medical conditions affect your ability to function in the workplace.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Tamara

        Dear Kay I have been call the SSDI office almost every day I applied for SSDI for my son who has ADHA he is also on meds and I submitted all the paper work to them when I call yesterday the told me that I should hear some thing back by Nov 5 they said that they sent the info to back to the main off for processing does that mean that he is approved I applied for him back in June

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tamara,

          If is possible that your son’s claim has been medically approved, but you will not know for sure until your either receive a letter or a call. If you haven’t been contacted by November 5, contact your local office, recount what you were told by the claims examiner, and ask for a status.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Tamara

            Dear Kay it is now Nov 5 I call the SSI office today and said that is still still being they sent the paper work to Disability Determination Services back in Aug and they told me sometimes it takes 4 to 6 months before I would even get a letter is that true I they sent that paper work to Disability Determination Services does it me that he is approved

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tamara,

              Social Security contracts the Disability Determinations Services (DDS) of each state to review the medical evidence for each claim and to make a decision on whether the claimant meets Social Security’s definition of disability. So, your claim being in DDS, just means that it is undergoing medical review, which typically takes two to five months, not that it has been approved.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Tamara

            Dear Kay

            I called the SSI office on Nov 5 and they told me that it is still pending the Disability Determination Services still has my son information and it is still processing they told me it take 4 to 6 months before I get a answer I went to the office back in Aug and they said the Disability Determination office received it on aug 21 I just wanted to know why if they sent it to them for processing does that mean he is approved

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tamara,

              The Disability Determination Services (DDS) reviews medical and work history documentation to determine whether an individual is disabled as defined by Social Security law. When a claim is at DDS, it is being reviewed; it has not been approved.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • mike

    Kay,
    Im 100% service connected through the VA. I have applied for SSDI and they are expediting my claim. How much faster is it then a normal claim. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      I don’t have a good answer for you because an expedited claim in a geographic area with a heavy number of claims will take longer than in an area where everything is moving more quickly.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Janice

    I filed for my son two years ago. He’s 15 with dyspraxia, dysgraphia, dyscalculi, PTSD, ADHD combined disorder, odd, mood disorder, depressive disorder nos, see the a therapist once a week and a pshyciatrist once a month. Went sent in more testing more testing 3 weeks ago and called to check status today and was told it was sent to the writing department that a decision was made. What are the chances he’s actually approved? Is there a way to find out before the letter gets here??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janice,

      As you describe your son’s illnesses, there is a possibility his claim will be approved. You will not be given a decision prior to the letter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cherrelle Scott

        Hi, I went into the Social Security office on August 27,2015 for my interview and I received a function report and completed it a month ago, I was hospitalized for major depressive disorder recurrent and psychosis. About how long does it take after submitting the function report to receive a decision

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cherelle,

          The typical processing time for a disability claim is two to five months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Mary

    Hi Kay I called the DDS examiner and he told me a decision was made on my claim yesterday and sent back to my local social security office for further processing he told me that I should receive a letter from my local social security office in 1 to 2 weeks he told me if I had not received a letter by then to give them a call he also told me that I would do everything with my local office now does this mean I was approved

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      I would say, yes, I think your claim has been approved because he said to call if you don’t receive a call or letter; however, no guarantees.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ron

        Hello Kay, I was also told the exact thing. And that the decision wasn’t posted yet. It has been a week already no letter yet and no update on myssa. Would I have gotten a denial from DDS by now? Can I request a copy of my file?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ron,

          I don’t think you can get a copy of your claim file in the middle of an initial claim review. (I looked and don’t find a prior posting from you that provides any background, so I can’t comment on the length of time you have been waiting for a letter.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • RON

            I HAVE POSTED BEFORE, MY FILE IS AT MAMPSC KANSAS SINCE JUNE. I AM ON RECON.STAGE DR SUBMITTED MED SOURCE STATEMENT THAT I HAVE FBSS AND FAILED ALL PRIOR TREATMENT.INJECTIONS,NEURONTON.LYRICA,MUSCLE RELAXERS PRESCRIBED A CANE DUE TO AREFLAXA AND REDUCED DERMATONES NEXT STEP IS A SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR WHICH I NOW HAVE. POOR PROGNOSIS AND LIMITED FUNCTIONAL ABILITIES. MY FILE WAS AT THE MED UNIT 2 MONTHS FOR REVIEW, NOW A DECISION IS MADE AND FILE SENT TO LOCAL OFFICE FOR FINAL PROCESSING. WAS TOLD I SHOULD NOW HEAR FROM LOCAL OFFICE BUT IF I DONT GET ANYTHING BY THE 3RD TO CALL HIM BACK. FROM WHAT I READ YOU GET DENIAL LETTERS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AND IF YOU HAVE DEPENDENTS SSDI IS DEPOSITED ON THE 3RD

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Ron,

              Do you have a question? If so, please post it and I will try to respond.

              Kay

          • RON

            CALLED TODAY AND WAS TOLD BY EXAMINER HE REALIZED AFTER WE GOT OFF PHONE THAT THERE WAS A TECHNICAL ISSUE WITH MY MEDICAL SOURCE STATEMENT AND THAT HE SENT NOTIFICATION TO MY DOCTOR TO HAVE IT FIXED. I WENT TO MY DOCTOR AN HOUR AWAY TO FIND OUT THERE WAS NO FORM EVER SENT. CALLED HIM BACK ABOUT 50 TIMES WITH NO ANSWER.(HE HAS ANSWERED EVERY TIME I CALLED BEFORE)
            CALLED AND WAITED FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE EXAMINER. TOLD HER WHAT HAPPENED, SHE SAID IT WAS MANDATORY THAT HE ANSWERED CALLS FROM HER EXTENSION. HE NEVER ANSWERED. CALLED AGAIN A GUY ANSWERED, HE STATES THE LAST FORM FROM MY DR WAS ON AUG 26 AND THAT THE EXAMINER HAS NOT TOUCHED MY FILE SINCE. HE ALSO STATE THAT THE EXAMINER LIED TO ME ABOUT THE TECHNICAL ISSUES AND THAT HE WAS GOING TO SEND HIM AN EMAIL TO LIGHT A FIRE UNDER HIS ASS. WHY WOULD HE LIE AND KEEP ME CALLING TO CHECK IN EVERY 2 WEEKS AND NOT TOUCH MY FILE?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Ron,

              My guess is that the examiner is dreadfully behind in his work and is trying to hide the fact out of fear.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • April

    Hi Kay I have a quick question I applied for ssi for my daughter who has chiari malformation and just had her first brain decompression surgery they called and made more a appointment to sign a payee form and go over her condition what does that mean

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear April,

      If by “go over her condition” you mean provide more information about your daughter’s medical condition, it means that the medical decision has not been made yet and more information is needed. If you meant to say go over her financial situation, then her claim may have been medically approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • April

        Thanks Kay they said she is medically approved

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, April.

  • Gray

    Hello, I am 41 yrs old, I applied for disability and SSI twice before and was denied, this is my third time July 21, 2015. I have the following: hypertension, extrinsic asthma, Gastroesophgeal reflux disease, environmental allergies, Sarcoidosis, Vitamin D Deficiency, reactive airway disease, thyroid nodule, insomnia, acute bronchospasm, and narcolepsy. Have an appointment to see a gastro doctor, and I may have rheumatoid arthritis going to see a rheumatologist as well.

    The last two times, I received a determination within weeks. Now Its been two months and I don’t want to jump the gun, I have a feeling that it may go thru this time. I was reading the other posts and thought maybe I would run across someone who was similar to me, but decided to see what your thoughts would be. I just wanted to know if you thought there was a good chance that I would be approved based on my medical issues.

    Thank You in advance for answering my questions, I appreciate it.
    God Bless

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gray,

      It is possible that your several conditions combined will meet the disability requirements. If you are denied, be sure to appeal and hire an experienced attorney to help present your complicated medical history in context of Social Security law.

      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 before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • charnissa gray

        Dear Kay, Thank You so very much for your response. I appreciate it. its been 5 months now and I called to check my status and its still pending. I am remaining hopeful, and keeping it in the lords hands!!! Again Thank you so very kindly for your answers, its greatly appreciated!!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Charnissa.

  • Teretta

    I didn’t get my letter my lawyer told me my case was finished and I tried to see if I can file a new claim. The ssa website told me that I was denied 60 days from previous claim. Is the the initial claim or the denial from the judge? Then it said to try to appeal it. I clicked on the appeal button and it stated I don’t have the correct qualifications to file an appeal. I already new in my heart the judge denied me..so I tried anyway..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Teretta,

      You should receive a letter from the judge. Ask your attorney for a copy of the letter sent to them.”Not qualified” to file the appeal likely means that your attorney has to file an appeal because you appointed him or her as your representative. The way you worded the information about the sixty days, I can’t tell what period it applies to. You have sixty days from the date of the hearing denial letter to appeal.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Teretta

        I was already approved by the judge. Also why does it take 30 to 60 days or more to get an award letter after being approved. I was approved October 13th. Thank you for your response. SSA tells me to call them again on December 13th. Should I wait and call them on the 13th? But why the long wait. Its was not at the appeals council it was sitting at the payment processing office.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Teretta,

          For quite some time, payment after approval is often taking two months or more. Presumably it is because of backlogs caused by under-staffing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Betty

    My fiance was told he was approved for disability as of July 10th 2015 and that it was sent to the local office for processing. He has called and left messages and no calls have been returned. We called the payment processing center and was told the same thing except there was no instructions for payment. He gets food stamps and DHHR is insisting he sign with employment agency. How long does it take to get an award letter? Should we go to the local office? It is almost an hour away? I appreciate in advance any advice.

    • Betty

      Today I called the local office and got some information, my fiance was approved for SSI not SSDI and he told me they had a backlog and have been short on staff. But he did tell me that because he lives with me and I pay the bills (he always paid half until he got sick) his monthly amount will be 490.00 or if we get married he will get 773.00. I don’t understand. Was I supposed to forsake him when he got sick? We have been together for 15 years and I don’t want to push the marriage just for this reason.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Betty,

        Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paid principally to cover food and shelter. When the disabled person is receiving food and shelter from another source, SSI benefits are reduced by one-third to $488. The statement about the amount he would get if you were married must be based on you having income below the income limit. If you did not tell the representative the amount of income you have and the assets you have, it could be misinformation about his being eligible for the maximum.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Betty

          Social security called today for his interview and asked how we presented ourselves to the public, we were not sure about this, I did tell them we had been together for 15 years and had discussed marriage. We did tell her we introduce ourselves as friends. Will this hurt him? Should we get married?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Betty,

            Marital status will not affect your fiance’s SSDI claim. Your income should not be counted in detemrining his SSI eligibility because you are not married and do not present yourselves as married (the latter would only matter if you live in one of the few states that recognizes common-law marriages.) Whether or not is more advantageous for you two to be married or not depends on your income and assets. As long as you are not married, he will get a reduced SSI benefit for receiving free housing, but your income will not be counted. If he starts to contribute to household expenses after his SSI starts, report that and his claim will be recalculated to see if the benefit can be raised.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Betty,

      Yes, he should go to the local office and ask to see a claims representative. In addition to finding out the status of his claim, he can ask for some proof that he has been found disabled to show DHHR and that payment is pending.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mr. Edmunds

    Hello,

    I received a ‘Fully Favorable’ decision in Aug 2015 after being represented by a lawyer at the ALJ appeal stage. As of 10/9/15 I have received my first deposited back-pay from SSI. I have called SS (the general 800 number) a few times in regards to my SSDI case and pending back-pay. My local SSI office the manager (spoke with him 10/6/15) says the file will be forwarded to the payment processing centers of SSDI, however when speaking to a representative by calling the SS 800 number a representative told me my SSDI application was denied. I reread my approval letter and it states I have enough work credit and fulfill the requirements to be classified ‘disabled’. This back and forth is really frustrating as I asked the rep what date was this decision made and she could not say when. I don’t truly believe what she said, but I am not too verse if SSDI/SSI procedures. My question is (sorry for the long exposition. Just wanted to make you privy to the situation) is there a way a person could be denied for SSDI when approved for SSI and having enough work credits for SSDI along with a ‘Fully Favorable’ determination letter? Any insight would be appreciated.

    Regards,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mr. Edmunds,

      Trust the approval letter that says you were approved for both and the local office that says the payment center is processing your claim. The representative at the 800 number is looking at a limited computer screen that may not be updated until the payment processing in the payment center has been completed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mr. Edmunds

        Hello Kay. I received my SSI notice of award in the mail today (10/13/15. I am very alarmed at a section where it says:

        Things yo should know

        The application you filed for SSI was a claim for Social Security benefits. We looked into this, and decided you can’t get any Social Security Benefits. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal. A case review, described later in this letter, is the only kind of appeal you can have regarding Social Security benefits”.

        I was represented by ‘Binder & Binder’. I received a fully favorable decision. I have enough work credits. How can they say this with no explanation as to why?

        Regards,
        Lawrence

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mr. Edmunds,

          The letter that you describe should have given a reason that you are not eligible. I suggest that you 1) reread the fully favorable decision to see if it says you were approved for Social Security Title II benefits, and if it does 2) call your attorney for assistance.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Mr. Edmunds

            I have re read and there is no where that is specifically says title II, but on the final page it says:

            “Based on application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits protectively filed on 11/28/12, the claimant has been disabled under section 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social Security Act since 1/21/14”

            “Based on application for supplemental security income benefits protectively filed on 11/28/12, the claimant has been disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act since 1/21/14”

            Everything before this describes the five step procedure to determine me disabled.

            **FYI my DLI is 3/31/14**

            The letter from my local SSI office gives no reason what-so-ever as to why they say I “cant get social security benefits”. I have called my disability lawyer and I keep getting transferred to a fee department (the personal in the office says it is because my case was approved and when I ask her of the letter she kind of brushes over it and does not give me a “concrete” answer ). I am afraid to call my local office being I am weary of their competency but I figure I will have to suck it up and make the call. Also I am weary of the whole process because it says if I appeal the case will remanded to another ALJ who could give me a “better, worse, or same judgement.”

            I thought the hard part was the waiting to be approved by a ALJ but I am figuring out different now.

            🙁

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Mr. Edmunds,

              The approval letter from the judge says that you have been approved for Social Security Disability. I suggest that you take the letter from the judge and the letter saying you aren’t eligible to your Social Security office and ask to speak to a claims representative. If you do not get a correction or an explanation that is satisfactory to you, ask to speak to a supervisor.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Mr. Edmunds

                Thanks Kay,

                You are the best. A representative says this was a error as they have my file pending at the SSDI payment center. The representative also pointed out SSI calculated my back-pay incorrectly as they counted a William D. Ford loan as a “resource” whereas the POMS says this loan is to not be counted as a resource or income. I will be filing a reconsideration asap. Thanks for the reassurance and take care.

                Edmond

                • Kay Derochie

                  You are welcome, Edmond.

      • Mr. Edmunds

        Hello Kay,

        I am back with questions.

        I have been in touch with my lawyer (who represented me at my hearing) who in turn spoke to my local SSI office. It was stated to me by my lawyer on 10/22/15 that my local SSI office did count school loans as a resource/income and this was a mistake. My original stated back-pay of $10K+ was confirmed by my lawyer. I have not received a letter from SSI stating this ‘Notice of change in award’. What would you suggest I do in this case?

        My second question is long winded and regarding my SSDI case. This is a much bigger headache. I am qualified under SSA laws that I am fully disabled. I have enough work credits. My local SSI office sent a letter dated 10/5/15 stating that:

        “”Things you should know

        The application you filed for SSI was a claim for Social Security benefits. We looked into this, and decided you can’t get any Social Security Benefits. If you disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal. A case review, described later in this letter, is the only kind of appeal you can have regarding Social Security benefits”.

        However before this letter from SSI on 10/5/15 I received my decision letter from the ALJ on 8/12/15 stating this:

        “Based on application for a period of disability and disability insurance benefits protectively filed on 11/28/12, the claimant has been disabled under section 216(i) and 223(d) of the Social Security Act since 1/21/14″

        “Based on application for supplemental security income benefits protectively filed on 11/28/12, the claimant has been disabled under section 1614(a)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act since 1/21/14″

        **FYI my DLI is 3/31/14**

        I spoke to my lawyer who in turn spoke to SSA and was relayed to me my case is not being processed by SSA with no message as to why, and also a SSA technician is looking into the case and will have a answer in 30 days or less. Additionally it was told to me if I inquire again it will restart this 30 day investigation period. My question is why is there so many issues when everything is clear and simple? I have enough work credits and I am fully disabled by a judges decision so what is the hold up? Have you ever heard of cases like this? If yes what are the outcomes of these instances. I am asking because my lump sum SSDI back-pay is a better outcome than my SSI back pay which will take 1 1/2 years to receive versus SSDI which is one payment. If I get a unfavorable determination do I have any legal recourse as the incompetence of the handling of my case is a serious issue.

        Sorry if too long winded. you are verse in this and on many occasions offer correct info and a timely response than lawyers and SSA customer service reps.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mr. Edmunds,

          It is hard to predict how long it will take for Social Security to correct the SSI; it could be a week or a month. Once it is corrected, the notice of change should come seven to ten days later. I would say that the Social Security situation is unique to you. Work with your attorney to be sure that you do not miss the deadline for the formal appeal if it is not straightened out in the investigative period.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • superstar

    hello, my fiance use to be on disability growing up and he was on it as an adult but it stooped at like 22 years old because i do believe he tried to change it in his name not his rep payee, but he was homeless a lot of his life hardly any jobs hes work i do think 3 and then some temp agencies so i know that he dosnt have enough credits but i applied for him as his rep payee like 15 years later because i and his family knows that his mental illness has gotten worse but he has not been back to the doctor or counselor like he use to have 15 years ago but i also found out that he has acquired immune deficiency syndrome and i am helping him go to the doctors again and counseling but of course i dont have all the medical info that he had years ago for his mental disability and hes starting to see a doctor but has not been prescribed medication for that yet, all they have him on is bactrim, i already completed the application and sent back in the adult function report and all the other paper work, his sister said that she can also vouch for his past, its just now hes staple enough not to go back to being homeless, also his last job worked was in 2006 . do you think that i moved to fast and i should have just kept going to the doctors before i helped him apply and what next should i do.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Superstar,

      If your finance is disabled, applying now was probably the best. It takes two to five months for the claim decision to be made. If there is not enough information, Social Security will send him to one or more doctors for evaluation. The medical records of fifteen years ago will not help a mental health claim today. You might have his sister write up a statement of the symptoms she sees her brother having and what she has observed he has not been able to do because of them and you can do the same..

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • I have received 2 letters in the last 90 days, both have barr codes on them.. I called them gave the the number on the letter and told them when his next doctors appointment is. .what does that mean

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Stephens,

        I don’t know the significance of the bar code except that it may be for an automated sorting device. If the letter was asking for the date of the next appointment, it could be that current medical information is wanted for current information about his condition.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • diane morton

      I applied for ssi for my daughter and was told she is being sent to have a IQ test! She is only one years old so how will they test her? Thanks in advance.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Diane,

        I do not know the exact details of how intelligence is tested in very young children; however, in general it will involve attempting to engage your daughter in ways that a one-year-old with average intelligence would be able to respond to.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Chris

    Hello Kay

    I reside in Connecticut. I was told my decision was made on this past Monday 9/21, and was sent out the follwing day. I logged into my SSA website yesterday and saw the benefits estimates-which previously I hadn’t seen before. I assumed this meant I wasn’t approved, however SSA’s 800 number and my lawyer said that once the case is closed, the system autumatically resets to that information because the website isn’t that sophisticated and it only reads that the case is closed until the actual decision is entered in (seeing as the decision was sent out Tuesday and the backlog they have, this would make some sense) and that the screen with the estimates isn’t an indication of a decision. I also was confused because last time I was denied there was an appeal option-this was just a regular information screen. I was told at my hearing by the Vocational Expert that I couldn’t work at all due to one of my conditions (Central Sleep Apnea) as I have to sleep 4-6x daily and since I have a history I was able to prove from my last job that I had to call in all the time sick when my other issue flared up (a back injury)-more than three times and enough times I was written up for it-that although normally a back injury would mean sedentary work-the calling in for flare ups would mean I couldn’t work for that issue either. I had the unbiased VE stating I couldn’t work. I am unsure if SSA and my lawyer are just telling me the screen is an automatic reset when a case is closed until the decision is entered to keep me from panicking or if that is an actual thing because they need to enter the actual calculations from the decision. I did have the toughest judge on the circuit too. I’m sure I’ll just have to wait and see but I need to know because if the answer is a denial, I may have to move until an appeal occurs, as I can’t survive financially as any savings I had I used while waiting out this process.
    I’m not sure you could even answer this-I saw JPL had a similar question and you explained that the screen stating the estimates generally means a denial, but if that’s the case, how would one appeal?
    Thank You
    Chris

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      Thank you for sharing the information you received from Social Security and your attorney. There is not reason to question it, so I may be mistaken, especially since quite a bit of detail was given on why it doesn’t reflect a certain decision. In any event, you cannot appeal an unfavorable decision until you get the decision letter of denial or only partially favorable decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Carmen

        I apply for ssd on aug and got a call from social security lady asking me question, then she told me that I wasn’t get apprived

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Carmen,

          I wonder whether your post got cut off. Part of it seems to be missing in that you haven’t asked a question. If you post a question, please check to see if there is a typographical error in what you have written and explain the kind of questions Social Security was asking you.

          Thank you,
          Kay

  • Newjersian

    Hi Kay,
    I’m a “newbie” to your site but have perused many posts and I must say you are remarkable and thanks in advance for any advice. I”m a 50yr female with uncontrolled Diabetes, hypertension,Heart Disease-with 1 stent , and nerve damage from the diabetes. (just giving you a lil hx) I applied the beginning of June 2015. My question: I called the 800# and spoke to a very nice lady , since my DDS Claim Adjudicator has of yet to return any of my phone calls and the lady told me they have all my medical information and waiting for a decision. She told me my “call back” date was 10/14 and if i haven’t received a letter by then to call back on the 14th. Now, 10/14 is my pay date if I am approved for SSDI. Is it a coincidence or is it just hopeful thinking on my part? Thanks again.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Newjersian,

      It is just a coincidence.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • newjersian

        Hi Kay,
        I am back again!!! I just spoke to my DDS Adjudicator and she informed me that she received both reports from my CE and forwarded my claim to their medical doctor and it should be 2 weeks or less to wrap my claim up.
        Question: Why do you think the adjudicator had to send my claim to their “in-house ” physician? ( i thought the adjudicators made the decisions) and Second Question: If she made a decision of denial, would it still go to the DDS physician? Thanks so much.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Newjersian,

          I do not know the exact details of the processing guidelines, but I believe that certain diagnoses and/or claim characteristics require a physician review of a decision before it is finalized and others that are more clear-cut cases do not. I do not think that denials are exempt from a physician review if a review is otherwise needed.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Daniel

    hi Kay

    I got both ssi and ssdi

    ok back in Jan. 8, 2011 was diagnosed with a listed condition, was denied first time. got a lawyer, won short term ssdi, with a start date of 1/8/2011, 2 yrs later they do a review and say I am no longer disabled . so I appeal with new lawyer and he sent in a form to bypass and go straight to the ALJ, the hearing was set for may 5, 2015. today I got the letter of fully favorable decision

    that is a little history

    ok now when I got the new lawyer I elected not to get paid but just for them to cover my medical just in case if I lost the case then I didn’t have to pay any money back and they did take out the six month waiting period when I had the short term ssdi.

    now the ? will I get 25 months of back pay.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daniel,

      If the judge found you disabled back to the date benefits stopped, you will receive back pay all the way back to when benefits ended. The amount will be the full benefit less the Medicare insurance premiums.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Daniel

        thanks Kay was not sure

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Daniel.

  • Ann

    Hello I’m 46 y/o a mother of 5 kids. I was on CA State disability started 9/14 and it just ran out. I applied online on June 30, 2015 for SSDI/SSI. Surprisingly, I received a call the very next day at 8am from Social Sec. in my local area, The agent was so nice and told me that she just received my application online and that she wanted to confirm my applications and ask few questions. She also then check if I’m qualified for SSI but unfortunately since my husband is working and making higher income so I didn’t get qualified on that. She confirmed all the meds and doctors I’m currently seeing as well and I was told that she will have it expedite. 5 days later I received more documents and needed to send it back asap. I then called my lawyer ( which is based in another state and was told they couldn’t file it for me ) what happened and was surprised for the quick response from the social sec. Well I’m still waiting and twice a week I check my online soc sec account.
    Here’s my medical condition; In Oct 2013 I had a partial hysterectomy using the robotic device, a week later I was rushed to the ER almost died to find out I have developed a sepsis a huge abcess due to my right ureter was damaged during the surgery. I had an emergency surgery to place a stent to attached my kidney and bladder. since then I have a lot of complications. I was off on diability for 3 months. I went back to work for light duty for 6 months but couldn’t stand, sit , walk or even drive for longer than 30 mins. then one day I couldn’t get up find out I have nerve damaged from my right side, right back.
    -I have Peripheral neuropathy in my right side of the body all the way to my leg and foot; I just had my 3rd spinal injection last week which it didn’t help and it gotten my situation worst. -seeing pain management doctor and now referring me to Neurosurgeon.
    -I have urinary incontinence seeing urologist
    -Major depression seeing psychiatrist and psychologist
    -Physical Therapy
    -PCP once a month

    Since my last injection in sept 4, 2015 I couldn’t even sit for longer than 5 mins. without feeling a severe chronic burning pain in my back and half of my body. On top of this, I have high blood pressure too. Ive been taking so many meds that its making me feel more depress with my situation. I haven’t been doing anything other than picking up and taking my 2 younger girls to school which is only couple of blocks away from my house other than that go to my PT and go to Dr appts.

    So I’m hoping and praying that my social sec disability will get approved …soon! I was a Medical Assistant for 4 years and suppose to continue to BSN after my 3 older boys done with college but after my injury Its impossible for me to pursue my dream.
    Thank you for your time, any advice Is greatly appreciated.

    God bless ,
    Ann

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      At this point your job is to wait and respond quickly to any requests you receive. Be sure that you give or have given a full description of all the kinds of work you have done in the past. Also be sure that you have provided a clear chronology all your conditions, treatment, and success or failure of treatment since your surgery and a list of all your medical providers since then, including hospitals, and their contact information. You could also get a printout of all your medications from the pharmacies you have used and submit that as well.

      If you are denied, hire an experienced Social Security attorney to assist you with the appeal. 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 before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nancy

    I applied for SSDI and SSI in August 2015 and had my phone interview on September 8th 2015. I checked my bank account and have a US TRES 310 SUPP SEC of $0.00 on the 11th of September. Does this mean I got accepted?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nancy,

      Here’s my response based on the assumption that the September 8 interview you reference was to complete your application: Unless you have a condition that is presumed to be disabling, a decision could not have been made on your claim that quickly. If you are being set up for payment based on presumptive disability, you would have been told during the interview. Therefore, I think that the bank account annotation is just advance work in the event that you are approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nancy

        Kay
        I have arthritis in both hands and degenerative joint disease. I was also told during my phone interview that I have to call in my income every month, as I work about 5-10 hrs a week. Does that help with answering my question? Why would SSI deposit $0.00 to test my account if I could be years away from a decision?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nancy,

          Given that you are now being told to report your income monthly, I would say that your claim has been medically approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nancy

            Kay

            Amazing!!! Thank you for the help.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Nancy. Hopefully, I am right.

          • Nancy

            Kay

            Sorry one more question. How long do you think it will be before I start receiving checks?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nancy,

              The request to report earnings monthly is an indication that you have been approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI payments usually start within about a month of the date that everything needed has been submitted to the local office.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Star

        I applied for ssdi and ssi I am
        36 years old had tarsel tunnel
        Syndrome remove bad have anxiety depression and asthma and is non weight wearing use a wheelchair when going to appointment and use a walker I and around the house do you think I have a chance to get approve..also went to IMA already

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Star,

          Whether or not you are approved may depend on how long you are expected to be impaired by your conditions. You have to be disabled or be expected to be disabled for at least twelve months to be approved.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Star

            In my Ima report it say will be unable to handle own money cause I told them I smoke marijuana..does this mean I’m approve.. I was on disability thru my job and it runs out in a week ..I hope I get it isn’t asthma high blood pressure and anxiety and depression all what they considered disable

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Star,

              If the consulting doctor did not specifically tell you that a payee was recommended due to your use of marijuana, then you can’t be sure of the reason for the recommendation. If the reason is marijuana use, Social Security may have a policy of not making direct payment to be sure that necessities are paid for before any money is used for drugs or alcohol or the doctor may have the same concern. If you are approved and you believe that you can handle your money and exercise judgement to pay for necessities first, you can appeal the decision. To help your appeal, I could discuss the matter with your own doctor and possible have him or her make a statement about your capability, if he or she believes you can handle money.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Star

            Well they diagnose me with major depression anxiety high blood pressures d asthma also done tarsel tunnel syndrome unable to stand cook clean shower need of a walker to walk and wheel chair do you think I have a chance to get approve also how long after Ima do u get a decision..

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Star,

              You may qualify for benefits. If what is disabling you is your tarsel tunnel syndrome , the decision may hinge on whether you are expected to be disabled for at least twelve months. After an independent medical examination (IME), also known as a consultative examination, it can take from a few weeks to a couple months to get a decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Tony

    I was wondering if you would be able to offer an opinion based on your experience.

    I had cervical spinal fusion surgery in April 2015. My spinal cord was compressed to the point that, surgeons told me I should have surgery immediate to avoid permanent paralysis. I still am not able to walk normally and have severe burning in my legs and feet and was told that my condition may be irreversible.

    My neurosurgeon has me out of work for over a year from onset of symptoms.

    My neurologist had prescribed a walker for me in June because of abnormal gait which was listed on my information sent to SSI adjudicator.

    My PCP just filled out and RFC form for me and faxed morning of Friday, September 4. So I waited until Tuesday September 7 (because of Labor Day holiday) to call my adjudicator to see if she received fax. She told me that yes she received it on Friday and it was included and a decision had been made but I had to for response by mail.

    How did she receive on Friday and have it be included and, the very next business day, tell me a decision was made?

    Do you think I have a good shot at being approved?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tony,

      It is possible that the RFC was needed to just fill in a gap in evidence to support an anticipated decision based on the other information in file, so that the decision could be made the same day the fax was received from the doctor or early Tuesday morning. I can’t say for sure, but it is possible that you could be approved. (Just a side note: nerves in the cervical spine don’t control leg and foot function, so I would have expected that you would have received surgery to a different, lower part of your spine.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Star

      So what about my asthma and anxiety and major depression ..you think I have a chance ssd also just got on more Med for depression and anxiety..

  • angela parrish

    Hi I had a hearing today and the judge asked me some personal information like my birthday am I working. Also their was a guy that was giving the judge some codes for my past work history the judge said that I should receive a letter w8th 30 days to 60 days. When me and my lawyer walked out my layer said that since the guy that was giving the judge the codes didn’t ask me any questions that was a good sign also m6 layer said that he thanks that we nailed it

    • angela parrish

      Is all of that a good sign

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Angela,

        This response is to both your posts.

        There is no reason to doubt your attorney’s opinion that the appeal will be approved; however, you won’t know for sure until you get the decision.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Nicole

          Hey Kay, I was wondering if you knew what it mean if I just filed a claim for ssd 2 weeks ago and they already made a decision on my claim without a hearing I called to see if they could tell me the decision and the guy told me that he can’t tell me cause the letter is dated for a future date. Is that good?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Nichole,

            The quick decision on your claim could be either an approval or a denial. You didn’t provide any information about your medical condition(S) so I can’t offer an opinion as to which. You should receive the decision within a couple weeks.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Georgeanna Smith

          Kate, I only filed in June 2015, am a 61year old female. With very severe copd, osteoporosis, depression, arthritis all in lower back and leg problems, fibromyalgia. I filed on my own, I was talking/working with Disability Determination person from the start. Reported every single new Doc protests that I had done and she always sent for new records, also 7 weeks of physical therapy. Here’s my question. I went to the CE doctor appointment, nurse doing copd test was shocked, tested me six times and I failed all. My copd is very bad and I knew going it that the results would show that if they were legitimate. She said she could not see how they could possibly turn me down, I also saw on Doctors notes he listed I was chronic with copd, that I fully cooperated, which I did. He tested for my mobility issues also, which was rough, but I did it anyway. Anyway, I contacted the social security lady I was working with and she said my case was before the panel and I should know decision in about three weeks, if I had not heard by then, I should go over to office where I originally applied. What does that mean, and do you think I have a chance of approval. Thank you.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Georgeanna,

            I think that maybe that the examiner has recommended approval of your claim and if the panel review she refers to (inside doctor? quality assurance review) agrees, your claim will be approved. My reason for this opinion is her referring you to your local office if you haven’t heard in three weeks.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Georgeanna Smith

            Kate, I got a letter today saying I’m medically approved and now have to wait for second letter on non medical. I know this is work history. Do my credits come from my lifetime of work or what? I’m even more confused, because I can’t believe they would go thru all this medical process if I did not have enough credits. But, I know I’ve worked longer than 10 years in my lifetime. Imagine getting a letter like this and still have to worry. I quit work almost two years before I filed. I’m very sick and deserve my disability, just don’t understand this letter and afraid I still get denied even though I’ve been medically approved. My nerves are so bad, no way I can figure my own credits. But, I remember when I originally went into ss office to file, she pulled up my history and even told me amount I would receive. I am a nervous wreck over this. I know I’ve worked more than ten years in my life, just not sure how they count it.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Georgeanna,

              If the medical decision approved the date of disability you claimed, then given that you were told you were insured at the initial interview, there should be no problem in your being awarded Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • jlp

      I also had a hearing… it was a grueling 3 hrs back in dec 2014….. lawyer thought we nailed it was unfavorable decision from judge… my attorney advised me not to appeal to federal, so I didn’t…. a few months later I had gotten a pulmonary embolism…….and new medical issues…. reapplied this june.. just found out a decision was made last week but have not received the answer..but when I logged on to my social security account, I am now able to see my estimated benefits which I was not before….. Don’t know if its true but I hear that since I can see my benefits and there is a apply for benefits link that it is DENIED, any ideas?

      JLp in Pa

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear JLP,

        I don’t know for sure, but it seems as if while the claim is pending payment, no amounts show up; so it is possible the claim was denied. I suggest that if you have been denied, you try to get a formal vocational assessment from a vocational rehab counselor or agency to see whether there are occupations you can perform or can train to perform. If they think there are, that will give you some direction to pursue. If they think that there are not because of your health, their report will help your appeal.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Lina Smith

      Hi. Kay. I applied for disability a few months ago. On the 11th of August I had a $.0 deposit from “supp sec us treas 310 0SSI” as a misc deposit. Is this something social security does with every account, or is this a good indication that I may be approved in the near future? Thank you in advance!

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Lina,

        I would say that you have been medically approved for disability benefits and that you filed two claims, one for Social Security Disability (SSD) and one for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is paid first and the zero deposit is an indication that the direct deposit is being set up for payment; however, usually there is a financial update interview before benefits are released. You might call your local office to find out whether such an interview is needed and whether you can make an appointment for the interview.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Ashley Smith

    Do you think I will be approved for disability. I have had sever asthma for 4yrs. I am 30 yrs old. . I have tried to work but I get fired for being sick all the time. when I feel good it can last for 2 months or 2 days. and when I am si

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      Please see my reply to your earlier post.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kathy lucas

        Hi kay., I have a quick question if you don’t mind. My disability was approved by the judge by what I believe is a in office approval. This was done early july,. My question is I have not heard anything or received a response when I look online it still says no benefits how long does it take? I was told no more then six weeks. Any suggestions on what I should do?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kathy,

          It can take from a few weeks to two months or more for benefits to start after you receive the judge’s approval letter. If you have not gotten the approval letter, you might call the hearing office to see if the judge has sent the decision to the letter writing department yet. The answer will not speed anything up, but it will provide some information.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • BRENDA

            Just wanted to let everyone know that some do get approved on first try…no lawyer. I applied 4/15/15…I had a tkr and developed rsd/crps. I am 56 years old. I was told a decision was made 7/24/15. It was then sent to Quality Review and on 9/3/15 found out I was approved. Back pay was deposited in my bank account the next night.

            • Kay Derochie

              Thank you for sharing, Brenda!

  • Tina

    I applied for SSDI and SSI March 2015 due to major reoccurring depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder and PTSD. I was approved and started receiving SSI in July. Is it highly propable that I will also be approved for SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tina,

      Presuming that you did not get a notification saying that you did not sufficient work credits to be insured, it is likely that you will be approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) as well. Your Social Security back pay will be reduced by SSI back benefits paid for the same period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Michael Tatum

      I apply for ssd and ssi in a a veteran and i had to be evaluated for medical and mental i have doctors statements that i have PTSD ,anxiety, depression, and i take 13 different meds daily also i have doctor statements from 1976 when i was in the amry in korea complaining about my knees, feet, back,also i threw grenades at north koreans in the 19 day axe murders of the three Americans, they killed, the pyschotrist said he recommend that the social securty admin.helps me with ssd and ssi what do i expect next!

      • Michael Tatum

        I applied for ssd and ssi in June 2015 i just had evaluation for mental and medical doctor said they recommend that social security administration helps me im a veteran with PTSD,anxiety, depression is that a good sign ,!!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Michael,

          The opinions supporting that you have limitations will be helpful to your claim.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Michael,

        At this point, you need to wait for a decision on your claims. Be sure that all your medical providers know that you are applying for disability benefits based on multiple conditions and ask them to submit any information requested from Social Security as soon as they can. You might also ask your pharmacy for a printout of the medications you have taken in the last two years.

        If your claim is denied and you decide to appeal, I recommend hiring an experienced Social Security attorney. 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 before sending your back pay to you.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Michael

    Question Regarding provisional benefits / expedited reinstatement – Previously I was on SSD for several years but I had went through the Ticket To Work Program and had worked the last 4 years. Back this past February I became ill and unable to work. ( I was within the 36 month period to get reinstated ) So I went down to the SS office to get my benefits reinstated. They approved me to receive Provisional Benefits for 6 months. This will end as of this September. They told me I would receive these payments while they made a decision on my case. So being I have only 2 months left in payments I called Social Security. The rep tells me they seen no activity regarding a decision and that my last payment is this September. I’m really sweating it now. They have 8 weeks to decide or my check gets cut off? I assumed they would have made a decision by now or sent me for a medical review to one of their doctors. This worries me that I haven’t gotten a single letter or phone call from them. I can’t just have my benefit payment stop in September. Do they wait to the last minute to make a decision usually? I don’t want this to mess up any payments being interrupted for the following month after. I am not sure what to think. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michael,

      I suggest that you call the claim examiner to which your claim is assigned at your state’s Disability Determination Services. (Social Security contracts with the states to have disability decisions made.) Politely explain that your review was an expedited reinstatement case and that you are concerned about having the decision made before your provisional benefits fun out and you’d like to help in any way you can. Ask the examiner if he or she needs anything from you or your medical providers. This will draw attention to your claim, which probably has not been worked on due to heavy workloads.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Denise Todd

        Dear Kay,
        I am not sure if I got disability or not. Without getting into too long of a letter… I will try to ask this in as simple as I can. I just got to enjoy my 1 1\2 hour grueling hearing August 4th. I have several different health problems that are extremely dehabiliting. I have an experienced attorney, but he was even surprised when he found out we had a new judge. The VE said that there was absolutely no job that I could do. I am young, so I do know that that does not go into my favor. Part of my problem relied on the fact that I was not receiving as much treatment as I should. Disability kinda goes hand in hand. You cannot receive Medicaid unless you are over 65, pregnant, or considered disabled. Therefore treatment is very difficult to obtain. I do go to my doctor once a month I also take my medication on a regular basis. I’ve been hospitalized many times. I have a epilepsy, degenerative disc disease, herniated and bulging discs, BPD with psychotic tendencies, manic depressant, Hep C excetera excetera excetera. I had just been Baker racted not too long ago. I am 39 years old turning 40. I did not get an answer when I had left, she said she would make her decision and let me know within 30 to 60 days. When I went home I ended up falling asleep for 12 hours and woke up crying. Couple days later, my attorney has contacted me, he said he had been trying to reach me but he was calling the wrong phone number, anyways, he did say that the ODAR had called him and wanted his office to send an amendment for my onset date to March or May 22, 2012. I cannot quite remember. He had it set for September 11, 2011. Does this sound like good news?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Denise,

          It sounds as if the judge will approve your claim if you agree to changing your disability date to 2012.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Denise Todd

            Thank you Kay. I have no problem with changing the date if they would approve me already!!! I am so terrified that it will not go through. I have been fighting this for such a long time and I don’t know how I made it this far. My attorney said no matter what happens he will stick it out with me, but I am tired of fighting. I need to start getting better treatment and like everyone else… I need the assistance! It is only by God’s grace that I have made it this far. Your words are encouraging. I just pray that I will be approved quickly and can start figuring out where I go from here. I know it’s a process but I am trying to keep a roof over my head and the not knowing if and when is killing me. I really wish there was a quicker way to find out than staring at a mailbox for the next couple\few months. Thanks again. Denise

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Denise.

          • Denise Todd

            I actually have another question for you, Kay. Say that I do get approved and then decide to move to Tennessee. How would my benefits be affected?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Denise,

              Your Social Security Disability benefits will be the same regardless of which state you live in.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Pam Robertson

    Dear Kay,
    I was denied Social Security disability(haven’t been employed since 2009) but approved for SSI payments. The SS denial letter stated that if I could prove disability before 2011(I did one job for $1100 that year) I could appeal and possibly be approved. I missed the 2 month appeal deadline. Can I re-apply or appeal? I called an attorney’s office but was told they couldn’t help me because I had been certified as disabled and had been receiving SSI. I have doctors that could provide records through 2010. Is that all I would need to provide??
    Thanks for your help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pam,

      You can file a new claim, but you must claim a disability date after the one you originally claimed; otherwise, the claim will be denied res judicata, meaning it was already decided. Records from your doctors could help the claim, it they are clear enough; but often it takes more than that to prove a claim.

      If you file the claim, be sure to list the work you did in 2011, including the date you started the job and the date you finished. If it stretched across two months, the earnings were low enough that they should not affect the claim. Show the amount you earned in each month. If the work was all in one month, whether or not the work affects the claim depends on how long you were off work after the disability date you listed on your new claim and your reason for stopping work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jacquie

    Good evening,

    I 48 years old applied for SSDI on 5/9/15. I have had pain in my stomach and pelvic area. I had three major surgeries and I have been experiencing pain since the second surgery in 2006. My doctor during this time sent me for xrays, ultrasounds, MRI’s, Upper and lower GI’s and found nothing wrong. I had even been admitted to emergency for this pain. In 2013, I had the third surgery to remove my right ovary. Once inside, the surgeon found my lower bowel was wrapped around my right ovary and my intestines stuck to my bladder and my abdominal wall. She removed as much of the adhesions as she could and removed my right ovary due to a cyst. I felt fine until 5 months later, I started experiencing more pain and now it hurts to sit and stand for more than 15 mins. I am also on anti-depressants and anxiety meds due to this pain and my pride almost convinced me not to apply. I can walk but no more than 100 feet which is how far my mailbox is from my home. I have been on Short Term Disability since 1/27/15 and I applied for SSDI on 5/9/15. I supplied SSDI with 9 years of medical records and I had my primary fill out the RFC form.

    Today I call the DDS to confirm that he received my latest medical records that I had faxed to him. By the way, he is a really nice and professional man. Anyway, he verified that he did receive it and also told me that he was working on my case as we speak and that he was wrapping it up. After studying the “grid” and the list of impairments I saw that I fall under 1.00 Musculoskeletal system. I also have a redundant colon which mean I have more than the average person. I did not ask if he approved or denied the case. Now I am more anxious than before. Not sure if I should wait to see the outcome or if I should shop an attorney now. Acck…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jacquie,

      I suggest that you wait until you get a decision because, given that the claims examiner said he was currently working on your claim, you may have a decision within a month. If you are denied, then look for an experienced Social Security attorney. 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.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Candice

    Hello, first of all I appreciate that you answer everyone’s questions. I know it takes a lot of your time, unfortunately a lot of us can’t really talk to our lawyer. We have met our lawyer practically at the hearing, despite our efforts to talk to him, and now whenever we have a question we don’t get to ask him, instead the office replies and we usually get a rude response. So thank you for being there for us and shedding some light. My husband just received a partially favorable decision and we had so many questions, The report had so many mistakes and we were wondering whether it is worth it to correct them. At the end of the letter it is said that with medical treatment his condition was to improve and they will check back in 18 months. His genetic disease is definitely not something that can improve. So we were shocked to read that. Is that a normal response? Does that mean we will have to go through the same things again? Is it easy enough to go from being disabled to not being disabled? Next question is this, we applied for SSDI, and in the letter it said he had earned enough credits “through March 31 2017”, what does that mean? Does that mean his ssdi is only good enough until that time frame? We are confused. We were also wondering even if we didnt apply for ssi, if the ssdi is not enough will it be ssi automatically or will they ask us? Since we received wellfare payments during our waiting time, if ssi is granted we learned it will take the pay out of ssdi. Is there a chance we can waive that. We are in debt and owe a lot of money, if the back bay is all taken back I don’t know how we will make it. One last question is this, since it was partially favorable and our onset day was not approved will the onset date that the judge approved still include the 5month waiting period? What I mean is. will the onset date be the date our backpay will start or do we still add 5 month? Thank you so much in advance,

    • Candice

      I wanted to add one last question, what determines whether we can the Family maximum for %150 or %180 ?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Candice,

        The scale is based on the work earnings of the insured worker. The higher the earnings, the higher the percentage earned.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Candice,

      Nearly all claims are approved with a medical review date in the future, ranging from a year or less to seven years. At the continuing disability review, your husband will be asked to provide information about his condition and medical treatment during the preceding eighteen months. If he is still disabled, has not had any significant improvement, benefits will continue. If they were to be terminated, he would have the right to appeal. The five-month waiting period starts with the calendar month after the date of disability accepted by the judge.

      To get Social Security Disability benefits, a person has to be both fully insured and currently insured. Currently insured means having enough work in a specified period before disability began. The notice is saying that your husband was insured at the point he claimed disability. Once approved, the date is not relevant to the claim and does not affect benefits.

      From a Social Security standpoint, I believe that you can refuse Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, your husband may have signed an agreement with the welfare office agreeing to apply for SSI and to repay the welfare payments received. If he is paid SSI, his Social Security back pay will be reduced by the amount of SSI paid for the same period, including the amount paid to the welfare program.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rebekah

    I have a question My husband had filed an application for disability Social Security. He had went to a doctors that they referred to him. A little over 2 weeks later he called to see the status of his application and they told him he was unable to give him any information over the phone.. Is this initially a good thing or bad. They said they will be sending something through the mail shortly on his status. I am afraid this means he has been denied. Has anyone had this problem and if they did what was the out come?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rebecca,

      Social Security has a policy of not giving out claims decisions verbally. The letter that is coming could be a medical approval or a medical denial. If it is a medical approval, the final approval award letter, which will be received after all the non-medical eligibility factors have been finally reviewed, will describe payment amounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • glen

        If I reviece presumption benifits does that mean I’ll get approve for ssi for my premature baby? Also how long will she get her checj?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Glen,

          Most presumptive disability claims are formally approved. You should receive payment with a month of when you turn in all the financial information that was requested.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Devin

    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

      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

      • Dominque

        Kay I have a question I was medically approved on June 1 this year and i haven’t received anything from Ss for my sons SSI what do I need to do they say its in the processing stage how long does it take to be completed

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dominque,

          From what you have written, I understand that your son has been medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but you have not received any money for him as yet. My response is based on that understanding.

          I suggest that you contact your local Social Security office and ask whether there is anything you need to submit for your son’s benefits to be calculated and paid. If so, gather that information. If not, ask what they still need to process and roughly when you might receive payment.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Monica

      Hey, my ? Is……I applied for SSI for my 2 1/2 year old whom was medically approved I went back to my local office to do the second step which was application to be a payee as well as they took my direct deposit info and also spoke to me about direct express I believe its called anywho, the rep told me I’ll know something within a month or so they also mention something about checking for financial approval so my ? To u is does that mean my child had been approved to receive SSI?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Monica,

        Your child has been medically approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To receive benefits he or she must also be financially eligible because SSI is paid to disabled individuals and people age sixty-five or older who have income and assets below a certain limit. (The income and assets of the parents of a disabled child are considered when determining financial eligibility.) You might read some of the other SSI articles under the SSI tab on this website to gain a general understanding of financial eligibility.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • George

    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

      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

        Dear George,

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

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Teresa

          My name is Teresa and I’m really confused I have sharko Marie tooth i applied in May of 2015 Social Security has told me they are done with my case and it was pulled for quality review does this mean I am approved more likely that I’m approved

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Teresa,

            Claims chosen for a quality-assurance review are picked randomly, so the decision prior to the quality review could be either an approval or a denial.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      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

  • 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

      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

      • cynthia

        Kay,
        It is NOT necessarily true that you can get approved at the hearing level. My husband was denied at the hearing level WITH AN ATTORNEY. Our attorney had to appeal a 4TH time now. It’s been a year and half and we haven’t heard anything. And yes, we have several Doctor’s who have signed stating he cannot work, two of them being specialist. Every case is different. Hate to say it, but it depends on the judge. Terrible to think your whole life basically is in some judge’s opinion.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cynthia,

          Of course not everyone who files a hearing is approved. The decisions are supposed to be based on the evidence presented and the judge’s assessment of whether the evidence, including attending physicians’ statements, meets the requirements of Social Security law.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Chris

    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

      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

        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

          Dear Shan,

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

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • shan

            Hi. I had received a letter on July 26th saying my son need to see a ce for a mental exam. We have been to the exam. How long will it take to see if he was approved.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Shan,

              The consulting physician has three weeks to submit his report and the claims examiner could take a couple weeks to a month or more to review the exam with the rest of the claim file and to render a decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Mac

            on phone it says a dicision has been made on my ssi case i received letter that i will need bank statement or checkbook where i would like payments to be deposited does this mean im approved if so how do i know how much i will get??

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Mac,

              Yes, the questions that are being asked seem to indicate that your claim has been approved. I can’t predict how much you will receive. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays from $1 to $733 depending on how much other income including in-kind (non-cash) income you have. If you applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the benefit will be based on your earnings history.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • Eloheem

      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

        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

  • MAC

    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

      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

        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

          sorry kay , i am also 57 years old.

        • Kay Derochie

          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

            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

              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

          • johnnyb

            thank you for anserwing…. my case is in seattle they told me.. my hold up is in 2013 i showed no income was out of work half the year then on unemployment… i was approved for both ssi and ssdi also. faxed over pay stubs from my wife for ssi …say there working on it…… do you think it will be a long process to get, and will i get ssdi while there working on ssi?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Johnny,

              The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be paid first. (If you have not provided documentation of your unemployment benefits, you need to do so because the unemployment comp is income that has to be considered in determining your SSI financial eligibility in months you received it. Your Social Security will not be paid until SSI starts or it is determined that you are not financially eligible for SSI.

              It can take from a week to a month or more after you submit everything for the SSI to be calculated and paid and another one to three month after that for the Social Security (SSDI) to be paid. Your SSDI back pay will be reduced by SSI paid for the same period.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • johnnyb

            Hi kay, My claim ssi/ssdi is still being work on at my local ss office.They are going over records for my ssi. I no i will not get ssi because my ssdi is so high.Cant they see that? Why do i have to wait so long?When they finally get it all together, How long before i get issued a check?, And will any back pay be issued for ssi my app date was jan 25 2015.And my disibailty date was sept 21 2014. Also can they detirmineded a different disibailty date? Iwas approved for both ssi and ssdi for being disabled.Will i have to wait to get a letter award type in order to get paid?, Or will get monies direct depoist. I have direct depoist allready set up.Sorry so many questions , But you are so helpful in your respounces. thank you as always….

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Johnny,

              You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for February 2015 through the month your Social Security is actually paid. With a September 21, 2014 disability date, your Social Security Disability (SSDI) begins to accrue in March 2015. (Social Security can accept a different date of disability, but it you haven’t received a notice about it, they probably have not.)

              The SSI could start within a month of the medical approval. SSDI is paid by the payment center, not the local office, usually within one to three months after the SSI starts. Back pay for both benefits are paid after monthly benefits are started. Back SSDI will be reduced by back SSI benefits paid for the same months. It is common for the first payment to reach the bank before the approval letter, which usually then comes with a week or ten days after the deposit.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

    • Brooke

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

      • Kay Derochie

        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

        • Carrie

          Hi kay,
          I have a question. My son was late turning his papers that he was still in high school and is 18. We finally got them in and he’s been without payment for 2 months now. We called and they said its in the payment center and being reinstated. Does this mean he is approved and we are just waiting on his regular checks to start back up!

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Carrie,

            Yes, that is a correct assessment of the situation.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Thank you Kay, for answering my question.

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome, V.L.

      • I got a letter from social security reminding me about my appointment coming up. Well it stated what I needed to have with me and that was bank account number/ check book. What would they need that? Does that kinda mean I’m close to approval?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Alisha,

          I would say that your claim has been medically approved and that non-medical factors are being reviewed..

          Sincerely,
          Kay

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

    • Kay Derochie

      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

  • Mikesnowden68

    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

      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

  • Gerald Morgan

    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

      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

  • Alice S

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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

              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

          • In Pain

            Hi the AJl has made a decision in my case. My question is, I live in Milwaukee WI, there were no mention of an underwriter. Is that a bad sign. Is there even a underwriter in Milwaukee? Need help fast.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear In Pain,
              corporate insurance industry. Perhaps the person using it was referring to the payment authorizer in the payment center. At any rate, you should have notification of your decision soon if the judge has made the decision.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Misael Garcia

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

    • Kay Derochie

      Querida Misael,

      Favor de leer la respuesta que escribi hace unos minutos.

      Kay

  • Misael Garcia

    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

      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

  • jamie

    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

      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

        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

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Deb,

          Thanks for the additional information and you are welcome.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • J.P.

    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

      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

  • claudia

    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

      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

  • Tommy Land

    Great info here.
    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      You are welcome, Tommy.

  • Deb

    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

      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

        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

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

        • Kay Derochie

          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

            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

              You are welcome, Deb.

  • Gerald Morgan

    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

      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

      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

      • Gerald Morgan

        Hello Kay and thank you, your advice was helpful, now just waiting to hear from Social Security now.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Gerald.

  • Laurie

    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

      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

        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.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Laurie,

          Thanks for sharing the outcome.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Henry

    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

      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

  • rebecca

    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

      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

  • Dee

    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

      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

  • Patrice

    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

      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

  • Arawn

    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

      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

  • Denise

    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

      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

        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

          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

  • Abby

    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

      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

      • Abby

        Thank you Kay for the information 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Abby.

  • Brandy

    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

      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

  • Sandi

    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

      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

  • michelle

    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

      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

  • Kevin

    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

      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

      • Kevin

        Hi Kay,

        Thanks for the reply. I received a form ssa-827 in the mail today.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Kevin.

  • eddie

    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

      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

  • jay

    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

      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

  • Amanda Leon

    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

      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

  • Marie

    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

      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

  • Marie

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

    • Kay Derochie

      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

  • Marie

    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

  • Marie

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

    • Kay Derochie

      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

  • Phil

    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

      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

  • Phil

    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

      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

  • 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

      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

  • Alice

    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

      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

  • david

    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

      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

  • Ebony

    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

      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

  • Debbie C.

    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

      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

  • Keeee

    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

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Keeee,

      Please see my reply of a few minutes ago.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Keeee

    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

      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

  • Mickiesha

    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

      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

  • Nadine

    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

      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

        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

          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

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

  • 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

      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

  • Tanya

    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

      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

  • cheryl

    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

      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

  • MS. PARKER

    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

      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

  • michelle

    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

      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

        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

          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

          • michelle

            Kay,
            I just want to thank you so very much for all your help. I don’t know what I would do without your page.
            Michelle

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Michelle,

              You are very welcome.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Vanessa Garcia

    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

      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

  • reggie

    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

      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

  • Distraught

    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

      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

        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

          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

  • Michelle

    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

      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

  • liz

    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

      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

  • Michelle

    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

      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

        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

          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

  • Jami

    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

      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

  • Michelle

    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

      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

  • MS. PARKER

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

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ms. Parker,

      Please see the reply I posted yesterday.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Michelle

    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

      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

  • MS. PARKER

    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

  • MS. PARKER

    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

      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

      • MS. PARKER

        Thank you, Kay! I feel a little better!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Ms. Parker.

  • michelle

    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

      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

  • nigel skipwith

    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

      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

  • Jonathan B

    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

      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

  • Latasha Williams

    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

      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

  • Candice

    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

      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

  • Distraught

    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

      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

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

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Distraught.

          • Distraught

            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

              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

  • 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

      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

  • Gabby I.

    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

      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

  • Tam

    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

      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

  • brenda a

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

    • Kay Derochie

      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