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Check our blog for updated information and news pertaining to Social Security Disability

What Happens After I Receive a Favorable Decision?

If you make a strong enough case for your disability that you are granted a favorable decision, you might wonder exactly what happens next.

A common question asked is whether you have to visit a Social Security Office or fill out any more forms to start receiving benefits.

How to Handle Questions About Your Medical History

At your disability hearing before an administrative law judge, you might be asked questions about your medical history—or you might not be. If the judge has all your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and other relevant personnel who have treated you, the judge may decide to let your records speak for themselves.

How Do I Know if I am Doing Substantial Gainful Activity?

The Social Security Administra¬tion uses the “Sequential Evaluation Process” to determine your eligibility for benefits. The first step in the Sequential Evaluation Process evaluates whether you are performing work at the “substantial gainful activity” level, which essentially asks whether your work involves “significant physical or mental activities.

What if My Benefits Were Denied and I Didn’t Appeal?

You usually have 60 days to file an appeal after receiving a denial notice, plus an extra five days to allow for mailing. For the most part, if you do not meet this deadline, you will have to begin again with a new application, which may mean that you will lose some back benefits.

Budget Cuts Hinder SSA Operations

Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution effectively freezing funding for the Social Security Administration for the first half of fiscal year 2013 at the fiscal year-2012 level. To accommodate these budget reductions in the face of growing demand for Social Security services, the Social Security Administration has modified the business hours of field offices.

New SSA Ruling Addresses ALJ Bias

A new Social Security Ruling, SSR 13-1p issued on January 29, 2013 has provided new direction on how the Social Security Administration will address allegations of unfairness, prejudice, partiality, bias, misconduct, or discrimination by Administrative Law Judges [78 Fed.

FAQ: How Long Will It Take to Get a Hearing Scheduled After I Appeal?

After you file your second appeal requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, be prepared to wait a long time to get a date for your hearing and then a few months more for decision to be made. Nationally, hearing offices average about 15.5 months from the date a request for a hearing is filed until a decision is handed down.

What is a “significant number” of jobs? Why does it matter in a SSA disability appeal?

If a claimant for disability does not meet one of Social Security’s pre-set medical “Listings” standards for disability, the disability claimant has the initial burden of proof to show that he or she can’t perform any work performed in the last 15 years.

Proving Disability for Clients with Fybromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is challenging for any attorney to prove under the strict standards of Social Security Disability rules. Under a new Social Security ruling, fibromyalgia symptoms are evaluated similarly to a chronic pain condition and can be a Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) under the criteria set forth in SSR 12-2p with evaluation of symptoms including diffuse pain, fatigue, depression and difficulty with memory.

Audio Recordings Can Now Be Electronically Downloaded Within Days of Your Hearing

In recent years, the SSA has implemented a number of online services for claimants’ representatives, including access to our clients' electronic folders. At LaPorte Law Firm, we have conducted online business for our clients with the SSA since the Appointed Representative Services (ARS) initiative began in 2009. These online services have allowed us to electronically file disability applications and appeals, and in addition we’ve been able to more efficiently file new medical evidence, written legal arguments, and even submit proposed Favorable Decisions for approval by SSA on behalf of our clients.

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