Initial Application and Reconsideration
Our Boise disability lawyers recognize that Social Security will gather information from you which will be forwarded to the Disability Determination Services (DDS). The DDS is a state run agency charged with deciding whether you meet its criteria for disability. There are forms that the DDS will send to you and it may want you to visit with a medical doctor of their choosing (and at their expense). These forms can be important to you claim. You should consult with an experienced Social Security attorney when you complete them.
Activities and Daily Living Questionnaire
One of the first forms you will fill out is called the Activities and Daily Living questionnaire or Function Report (ADL). There are a few key points to keep in mind when filling out the ADL, but most importantly, be honest and be brief. There are common mistakes made by applicants when they complete this form that a knowledgeable Social Security attorney can help you to avoid. Complete the form on the right if you would like a free consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer.
The DDS may pay for you to visit a doctor if it feels your condition should be further reviewed by a medical professional. These examinations are referred to as “consultative exams” and are very important–mostly because you don’t want to do or say anything that will cause the doctor to indicate you were less than credible. You will be sent several letters reminding you of the date and time of the examination. Be sure that you reschedule this examination if you cannot make it. You should reschedule at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment. Your claim will almost certainly be denied If you simply fail to show up for the appointment. As with the ADL form, be honest.
In addition, practice good communication. For example, if a doctor asks you how much pain you are in. You may assume that he means how much pain you are generally in because of your condition. You may have good days and bad days. To answer his question, you think about your bad days when you have severe pain and you tell your doctor that your pain is severe, even though as you sit in his office you are having a good day and your pain is moderate. If your doctor was really wanting to know what your pain level was as you sat in his office and you tell him severe, he will observe that you are not in severe pain and doubt your credibility–he may even express his doubts in his notes, which can greatly influence a Social Security Disability judge.
If you would like more information on the ADL form, consultative exams, and the initial application process in general, please fill out the contact form and Social Security attorneys will be able to help answer your questions.
Time Lines for Initial Application and Reconsideration
There are several levels of application you may be required to go through. The most common are: (1) the Initial Application, (2) the Request for Reconsideration, and (3) the Request for a Hearing. The initial application may take 120 days or longer to be reviewed by the DDS. Approximately 35% of initial claims are approved by the DDS. Typically these are extreme case such as extremely low birth-weight babies, terminal cancer patients, severe head injuries, etc.
If your initial application for disability is denied, don’t be discouraged. Our advocates for the disabled can help you make a request for reconsideration. In a request for reconsideration, the SSA will take another look at your file to see if there were any errors made in the initial review. During this second look, additional medical evidence may be added to your application. For a reconsideration claim, the SSA may take 90 days or longer. Only 10-15% of applicants are approved at the reconsideration level.
If you are again denied, you will be required to ask for a hearing of your case before a Social Security judge. It as at this hearing that you have your best opportunity to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits–so make sure that you are represented by an experienced Social Security Attorney. For more information on hearings, click the ALJ Disability Hearing tab to your left.
If you have been denied your benefits or are experiencing difficulty with the application process, please contact one of our Boise disability lawyers by filling out the form to your right.