February 25, 2011
Some individuals applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may decide they need representation to help navigate what can be a confusing disability process. In order for Indiana disability attorney Scott Lewis to represent you in your disability claim and be recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA), he must have an Appointment of Representative Form (Form SSA 1696) completed and submitted to the SSA. The Appointment of Representative form is a fairly easy form to complete, but at the same time is a vital piece of paperwork to ensure representation in your Indiana Social Security disability claim. The main parts of SSA form 1696 include: Claimant information including name and Social Security number. The authorization to appoint the representative which includes the type of claim, release of information, and whether you have more than one representative. A signature, address, telephone number, and date are also needed by the claimant. The acceptance of appointment is then completed which contains information about the lawyer or representative involved with the claim. The two final sections concern waiver of the fee and waiver of direct payment. When Indiana Social Security Lawyer Scott Lewis is hired to represent a disabled claimant, he tries to get this form into the Social Security Administration early so he has access to the disability claimant’s information. Without the submission of the Appointment of Representative form, the Social Security Administration will not release any information or speak with Mr. Lewis about the Indiana disability claimant’s appeal. Many Indiana disability claimants do not know they have a right to be represented in their Social Security disability claim. Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis offers a free consultation and his fee agreement is contingent on a favorable outcome in your case. In other words, plain … Continued
Filed under: Claims Process || Tagged under: appointment, attorney, disability, forms, Indiana, lawyer, representative, social security, ssa
0 comments || Author: Scott Lewis
February 15, 2011
Many forms need to be completed when appealing a denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim. Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis advises his clients to be as detailed as possible when completing these forms. One of these forms is referred to as the “Disability Report Appeal”. The Disability Report Appeal (also know as form SSA 3441-BK) is filed in combination with forms needed to file a “Request for Reconsideration”, “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge”, and “Request for Reconsideration Disability Cessation.” It is important that Indiana Social Security disability appeals claimants file the correct forms to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in processing the needed paperwork. The Disability Report Appeal has various sections concerning: Information on the disabled person; (This includes basic contact information.) Information about the claimant’s disabling condition, illness, or injury; Medical record information; Medications the claimant may be taking; Medical tests that have been performed; Job/work information; Information regarding training and education; Support services you may have received; and A final section where the claimant can put information you do not believe was addressed in other sections of the report. Indianapolis Social Security attorney Scott Lewis receives many calls from his clients asking how they should fill this lengthy form out. Mr. Lewis believes it is important to be as detailed as possible, but also stay focused on the question being asked. The section(s) involving the Indiana disability claimant’s medical treatment can be very important when completing the form. It may be beneficial to take your time keeping in mind there are time constraints when filing a “Request for Reconsideration” or a “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge”.
January 5, 2011
Maybe you are getting tired of waiting for your Indiana Social Security disability appeal hearing and now you are wondering if there is some way to get in front of a Judge quicker. You may now find this long wait to have your disability claim heard has put you and your family in financial turmoil and cannot believe it is taking this long to enter an Indiana Social Security disability courtroom. Indianapolis Social Security lawyer Scott Lewis fields many calls asking this very question, and he lets these Indiana residents know there are ways to get there faster, but the criteria to do so may not sound very appealing. There are circumstances where the Social Security Administration (SSA) will at times move you up in the waiting process and these situations are considered “dire circumstances”. These critical cases include: Military service casualty cases Compassionate allowance cases The claimant is homicidal or suicidal The claimant has a terminal illness Shelter, food, or medicine is unavailable and the claimant is unable to obtain it The aforementioned criteria to establish an Indiana Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim as “dire need” is only a framework to go by, the facts in each individual case vary and can effect a case differently. Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis can discuss your particular case in more detail. If a claim is determined to be dire need, a hearing office should take immediate action to expedite the Social Security disability claim. Unfortunately, with the current hearing backlog many Indiana Social Security disability claimants find themselves not fitting into a dire need circumstance, but struggling to make it to their hearing date. If you have questions concerning Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits contact Scott D. Lewis for a … Continued
December 30, 2010
Recent reports indicate a rise in the amount of individuals filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This could be due to many factors including the rise in unemployment and even the ease of applying for disability benefits online may be a culprit. Whatever the reason, Indiana Social Security disability claimants are not immune to the ramifications of a rising number of disability applications. Indianapolis Social Security Lawyer Scott Lewis fears this rise may result in even longer processing times of applications and create an even more burdensome backlog of individuals waiting on an Indiana Social Security disability hearing. Sources show that Social Security disability applications have increased by 21 percent recently and in Indianapolis Disability Attorney Scott Lewis’ experience Indiana has been no exception. Mr. Lewis has noticed an increase in the amount of interest shown in individuals asking if they may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. While the requirements of being entitled to Indiana Social Security benefits may appear straightforward, there are many variables that can enter into the equation. For instance, many of these Indiana residents applying for Social Security disability benefits are receiving unemployment benefits. While this should not be an absolute bar to receiving Social Security disability benefits, some Administrative Law Judges look on the payments of unemployment as a factor in turning down an otherwise valid Social Security disability claim. What does all of this mean to a disabled Indiana resident? It may mean a longer waiting period for your claim to be processed. It should not discourage you or a family member from applying for Social Security disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Just because there are more people applying for disability benefits does not mean they are more difficult to obtain. As always, … Continued
December 6, 2010
As silly as that may sound, when the Social Security Administration (SSA) is trying to determine if you are disabled they may want to know if you can make your bed, bathe & dress yourself, sweep & mop your floor, and take out the trash, among other things. These are called “Activities of Daily Living” or ADL’s. Activities of Daily Living are the things a person usually does on a routine basis to maintain their household and take care of themselves. Why does the Social Security Administration (SSA) or an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) care about activities of daily living? In Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience, the SSA is trying to determine how much the Indiana disability claimant is restricted by examining what the disability claimant can or cannot do. At times, Indiana disability claimants applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be asked to fill out a form concerning their activities of daily living. While it is important to be honest when completing these forms, it is also important to FULLY explain what you can or cannot do. If it is necessary to take breaks due to pain, or other disabling conditions (either mental or physical), it is important to document these restrictions accurately. Sometimes the Social Security Administration (SSA) may ask a third party to comment on your activities of daily living. This may be a friend or neighbor. It is important you let these third parties know what your restrictions and symptoms are. Indianapolis Social Security Attorney Scott Lewis often finds these third party evaluations are not completely accurate regarding the claimants disabling condition(s). This line of questioning regarding your activities of daily living usually gets addressed when you find yourself in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). … Continued
November 29, 2010
Many Indiana residents applying for Social Security disability benefits online may find the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) new website a bit easier to navigate compared to the older website. While it may be more pleasing to the eye, the revamped website appears to be very similar to the old website. Actually, it is not too difficult to apply for disability benefits online by just following the simple prompts provided by the website. By typing in www.ssa.gov you can enter the new Social Security website. At the top of the SSA website home page you will see a tab for “disability”. By clicking on this tab you will see directions for following four steps to get the process started. This page not only gets you started on applying for disability benefits, but you may also check your disability application status and also appeal a denied medical decision about your claim. There are a number of other things you can do online with the Social Security Administration’s website, you may want to take a moment to see if any other areas of the website are of interest. While you can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits online, it is still Indianapolis Social Security Attorney Scott Lewis’ understanding you cannot apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the www.ssa.gov website. Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis advises his clients to call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Indianapolis disability lawyer Scott Lewis advises his clients to apply for both programs in the event you are not eligible for one program then the other program may be appropriate for your circumstances.
November 13, 2010
Indiana Social Security disability claimants waiting for a hearing have had their patience tested. Currently, the Indianapolis Social Security hearings office known as The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) has a very lengthy wait. Now add in the ever growing amount of individuals applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims, which have been estimated at perhaps 700,000 more initial claims in Fiscal Year 2010 compared to the number in Fiscal Year 2008, and it becomes obvious measures must be taken to alleviate this tremendous caseload. What is the Virtual Screening Unit and will it help me? This is a tool to identify cases that may receive a favorable outcome without the use of a hearing. By identifying certain factors and forwarding these cases to the Social Security Administration’s senior attorneys it is believed this will help alleviate the hearing backlog because a fully favorable determination can be made on the record. In Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis’ experience the majority of the individuals sent to the virtual screening unit are over 50 years of age. Although, some are younger than 50 years old, it would appear these younger individuals selected by the Virtual Screening Unit have substantial severe disabilities that the virtual screening unit may believe can be found fully favorable without a hearing. At times, an attorney advisor may contact Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis’ office and request more recent updated medical records to help further a determination on their Indiana Social Security claim. As always, Indianapolis Social Security attorney Scott Lewis advises his disability clients to keep seeking medical attention while their claim is pending. When it comes to your day in front of an Indiana Administrative Law Judge or in selected cases the eyes of an Attorney Advisor … Continued
October 28, 2010
If you are an Indiana resident trying to get Social Security disability benefits, the word “quick” may not sound too familiar to you. At the present, processing times to receive a hearing from an Indiana Social Security disability Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) is very long and may be putting a huge financial burden on you and your family. On the other hand, if you were lucky enough to be one of the few claimants to have received a “Quick Disability Determination” (QDD), then you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. What is a “Quick Disability Determination” (QDD)? A QDD is a Social Security disability case that is selected by a computer when it has a high probability of the Social Security claimant being disabled and that all evidence can be obtained in a quick and easy manner, and that the Disability Determination Services (DDS) can process the claim quickly. Indiana Social Security Attorney Scott Lewis can only tell his Indiana Social Security clients to cross their fingers and hope they are selected by the computer to be a QDD. The Social Security Administration has set up this QDD process to help alleviate the overwhelming amount of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications that they are receiving. Indiana disability claimants who are experiencing a disabling condition that is not very common or may be lacking extensive medical records, may find themselves not considered for a QDD. The criteria to be considered for a QDD may be very easy to identify and perhaps would have been caught on an initial application anyway. Indianapolis Social Security lawyer Scott D. Lewis welcomes anything that will speed up the process for Indiana Social Security disability claimants as the current wait process is putting a strain on some of the most deserving Indiana residents.
Filed under: Claims Process || Tagged under: attorney, determination, disability, Indiana, indianapolis, lawyer, qdd, quick, social security, ssa
0 comments || Author: Scott Lewis
September 22, 2010
Indianapolis Social Security Attorney Scott Lewis often gets telephone calls from Indiana residents asking when they should file their initial Social Security disability claim. Many disability claimants make the mistake of waiting because they believe they must be disabled for a period of one year before they can file a Social Security disability claim. There are a number of things to consider when deciding to file a Social Security disability claim: 1. Has your disability or combination of disabilities prevented you from making enough money to take care of yourself and/or your family? The amount of money the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers to meet this level is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount. In 2010 the SGA amount for non-blind individuals is 1,000.00. 2. Will you meet the “durational requirement”? Your disability must actually last for 12 months or be expected to last for 12 months. Many times Lawyer Scott Lewis tells his clients if there is a question as to whether the disability will last for 12 months, do not give up on the claim. If the disability is preventing you from performing SGA, as stated above, it may be in your best interest to appeal your disability claim if you are unsure as to whether you may recover from your disabling condition. Also, due to the lengthy hearings process in your Social Security disability appeal you may have very well met the durational requirement before you find yourself before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). 3. Don’t jeopardize your “date last insured”. Based on your work history and paying into the Social Security system you will establish a dale last insured. A Social Security disability claimant must prove they became disabled before the date last insured in Title II also known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. 4. Also in Title II or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims … Continued
September 15, 2010
You just received a letter stating your Social Security disability claim was denied and you are wondering what to do next? Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer Scott Lewis receives calls asking this very question every day. Indiana residents receiving a notice of disapproved claim need to know they have certain rights and can appeal a denial of their Social Security disability claim. There can be a few reasons you find yourself denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). When Attorney Scott Lewis hears that your Social Security claim was denied because the Social Security Administration did not feel that your disability was severe enough to prevent you from working, he realizes you may have grounds to appeal the decision. Why did you get denied? One reason you may have been denied your Social Security disability benefits is because your medical record was incomplete. In your initial application you may have unintentionally omitted important medical sources. Another reason could be the SSA was unable to get important medical documentation that you told them about. There could have been an oversight by the SSA or an oversight by the medical source you provided to them. In any case, by the time you reach an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing it is very important that your Social Security claim file is up-to-date and complete. While the above may be one reason you are denied, there can be many other reasons for a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) denial. What to do next? A “Request for Reconsideration”, sometimes referred to as an appeal by Social Security disability claimants is usually the next step when receiving an initial denial. Basically, what you are saying to the Social Security Administration is “hey, you made a mistake take another look at my disability claim”. You have 60 days plus some mailing time from the date of … Continued