Friday, April 4, 2008

Benefits Without A Hearing

Perhaps the most common complaint I hear about the Social Security Disability (“SSD”) process is that it years to get benefits. That has not been my experience as I normally succeed in obtaining benefits prior to a hearing. I represent a woman who worked as a service manager for a bank whose application was approved today six months after applying.

I did two things that my experience shows led to the approval. First, although Social Security made repeated demands that my client attend a consultative examination (“CE”) by one of their doctors, I advised her not to attend and to disregard their threats of denying her application if she refused to be examined. The regulations state when a claimant can be asked to attend a CE, and simply seeking a second opinion is not one of them.

The other thing I did was to submit medical reports from three treating physicians. Social Security as well as many practitioners in this field will tell you that all you need is one supporting source to secure benefits. While that may be true, it is also true that the more corroborating medical opinions you supply the stronger your case, and the sooner your application will be approved. I have no doubt that the claimant’s application would have been rejected if I had submitted only one report instead of three

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