When you file for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you probably already know you’re in for a long wait before you hear any kind of answer on your claim. However, it’s important to stay in touch with the Disability Examiner (DE) that’s handling your case. Otherwise, you could put your entire claim in unnecessary danger.
Here’s what you need to know:
The DE is probably the most important contact you have with the Social Security Administration (SSA) while your claim is pending. The DE is the person responsible for obtaining and organizing your medical evidence. It’s also the person who will contact you with questions, arrange for a consultative examination with doctors when necessary and prep your claims file for review by Social Security’s medical, psychological and occupational consultants.
In short, if the DE is trying to contact you, you don’t want to miss that letter or call. If, for example, the DE thinks that you should have a consultative exam in order to clear up a question about your condition but you can’t be contacted, the DE will eventually forward your claim for a decision without any further information. That’s often a route to a quick denial.
You stay in contact with the DE by making certain that you contact both the SSA and the state’s Disability Determination Services with any changes in your address or phone number. (Contacting both helps eliminate the possibility that your information won’t be lost in the system.)
Many people who have disabling conditions that prevent them from working suffer the destabilizing effects of financial distress. It’s common for people to move around during the long wait between filing a claim and getting a decision. That’s just one more reason that it’s often wise to have an attorney help with your claim. Your attorney can help make certain that you never miss an important communication from the DE or the agency itself.