Monday, May 7, 2012

Proof of Birth for SSD

I represent a former truck driver whose application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits was approved today less than 2.5 months after I filed it. The approval could have come a week sooner if I had mailed the claimant’s birth certificate in with the application, but I advised against it.

It is almost routine for Social Security offices to lose or misplace documents. There have been cases where I have needed to submit the same documents numerous times electronically, by mail, and fax.

My client was born in Guatemala. Because Social Security frequently loses records, I advise my clients against submitting original birth records by mail, especially when the records are from other countries and replacing them would be difficult. Instead, once the SSD application is processed, I direct my clients to provide the birth certificate or other record to the local office for copying while the claimant waits for its immediate return.

Any delay associated with personally presenting original records should outweigh the risk of potentially having to replace them if they get lost.

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