SSDI/SSI Info Center

Guidance for Those Pursuing a Social Security Disability Claim or Appeal: Things You Should Know

Having spent 27 years assisting disabled individuals and their families out of Maine , Massachusetts and New Hampshire pursue their claims, we have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience we'd like to share with you as guidance for when it becomes necessary for you or a loved one to pursue a Social Security disability claim. While the articles below are meant to provide you with insight into many of the questions you're likely to encounter, they cannot be relied upon as a substitute for the interactive advice you can receive from an experienced Social Security disability lawyer.

You will notice that we have categorized our resources in a way that allows you to access the information you desire depending on the type of question you might have, and/or according to the stage of the process you're facing.

Section 1, involving the initial two pages of resources, is designed to provide potential Social Security disability claimants with a general sense of the Social Security disability process and what needs to be proven in order to successfully quality for disability benefits.

Section 2, Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments, allows you to learn what types of medical conditions might qualify and what sorts of issues might arise that could hinder one from proving their medical impairments are severe and disabling under Social Security's guidelines.

Section 3 is meant to guide the disability claimant through the application process itself, including the nuts and bolts processes the Social Security Administration undertakes and how to avoid some of the pitfalls the uninitiated may encounter in applying for disability.

Section 4 is meant to provide guidance to those who have experienced the misfortune of facing a denial of their disability claim. These resource pages will allow you to learn the various procedures that need to be undertaken to appeal the case and, once again, provide useful information as to how one might avoid missteps which can prove fatal to one's claim.

Finally, Section 5 provides guidance concerning some of the issues that present themselves following the granting of benefits, such as the protections afforded to claimants who seek a return to some manner of employment but need to know the rules that protect them in the event it turns out to be less than successful. Likewise, for those who may be faced with a notice from the Social Security Administration that they have been overpaid, we provide useful information as to how one might either appeal or request a waiver of such an overpayment in the event they either one, disagree they were overpaid the amount stated or two, cannot afford to pay the money back.

Again, these resources are meant to provide useful information and guidance, and is not meant as a substitute for the legal advice that is always advisable whether you are considering an initial application, facing an appeal or considering an attempt to return to work following the granting and receipt of benefits. Should you require the professional advice and/or legal assistance of a Social Security disability attorney who is knowledgeable of the Social Security rules and regulations, you should contact the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith at 1-800-773-8622.

INITIAL CONSIDERATION WHEN APPLYING
SSDI Eligibility
Sequential Evaluation Process
SSDI and Unemployment Benefits
Impact of Long Term Disability on SSDI Benefits

QUALIFYING DISABILITIES AND IMPAIRMENTS
Mental Impairments
Medical Disabilities
Proving Disability Despite Prescribed Treatment for a Year or Longer

THE CLAIMS PROCESS
Initial Claim
Considerations When Filling out the Adult Function Report
Social Security Forms SSA-821 (Work Activity Report) and 820 (Self-Employed Work Activity Report): Part 1 of 2
Social Security Forms SSA-821 (Work Activity Report) and 820 (Self-Employed Work Activity Report): Part 2 of 2
Reopening of Prior Claims to Obtain Additional Retroactive SSDI and SSI Benefits
The SSA Listings
Establishing a Disability Claim for Fibromyalgia Condition
Residual Functional Capacity Evaluation
The Impact of Non-Exertional Limitations in your Social Security Disability Claim
Social Security Disability Claims and the Importance of Obtaining Medical Opinions from Treating Sources
Substance Abuse and SSDI Benefits

THE APPEALS PROCESS
Denial of Benefits
Appealing a Denial of SSDI Benefits
Considerations When Filling out the Disability Report Appeal
Request for Reconsideration
Request for Hearing
SSDI Hearing Before ALJ
The Particulars of the ALJ Hearing Process in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire

FOLLOWING A FAVORABLE DECISION AND RECEIPT OF BENEFITS
Trial Return to Work Period
The Overpayment Process: Why They Occur and How to Handle Them

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