It can take several months for your disability claim to be decided, and during that time you may have questions about the status of your claim. It is important to be proactive about tracking your Social Security disability claim as it moves through the system, but first you need to know how and why to do it.
How to Check the Status of a Social Security Disability Application
You can check the status of your Social Security disability claim by:
- Calling the local Social Security Office and speaking with a disability claims representative.
- Checking the status of your claim on the Social Security website.
- Speaking directly with the disability examiner assigned to your case. This person likely works in the Texas Disability Determination Services (DDS) office.
- Contacting your Social Security disability lawyer. Your attorney can make the appropriate calls to the SSA or DDS on your behalf and help you get the information you need.
You, or your lawyer, can usually get the most information by contacting DDS. When you call the DDS office, tell them you are calling to check the status of your application. The disability examiner will be able to tell you if your case is pending or if a decision has been made. If your claim is still pending, ask if there is any way you can help move the process forward. Remember not to say anything that could hurt your chances of obtaining Social Security disability benefits, and instead, keep any conversations with the SSA or DDS limited to the status of your case.
Why You Should Check the Status of a Social Security Disability Application
Now that you know how to check the status of your Social Security disability application, it is important to know why you should do so. You should check on your application’s status because:
- Paperwork may get lost. It is possible that the paperwork for a Social Security disability benefits application was lost. When this happens, the case will not progress, and valuable time may be lost. In some cases, the applicant may even have to prepare and file an entirely new application. This occurs when the Social Security Administration determines that the appeal deadline was missed, even if that missed deadline was the fault of the SSA itself.
- The Social Security Administration may fail to notify you that your claim has been denied. Applicants have only 65 days from the date on which the denial was issued to file an appeal. Naturally, it is extremely difficult to comply with this deadline if you are not aware that your claim was denied.
- Contacting your claims examiner at the Disability Determination Services to inquire about the status of your case could potentially speed the matter along.
The approval of your claim may be just part of another workday for the government worker assigned to your case, but it is critically important to you, and the wait for an answer can be excruciating. If you are handling your claim yourself, on the day you file your initial claim or first appeal, make a note on a calendar to remind yourself to check the status of your claim in 30 days. That way you won’t forget to follow up on this important matter.
If you are working with a disability attorney, you should trust that your lawyer will stay on top of your claim. An experienced Social Security disability lawyer will already be in communication with your disability examiner and can keep you up to date on the status of your claim. It’s just one of the services a legal representative will provide for you. Call Morgan & Weisbrod at (214) 373-3761 today to learn more.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.