The Social Security Secrets Episode 9: What Happens at the Appeals Council?

Applicants for SSI and SSDI benefits who have been denied three times – once at the initial level a second time at the reconsideration level, and a third time at the ALJ/OHO level – can file an appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council (AC). This time, however, the types of issues you can raise are dramatically different than what you could raise before. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 9: What Happens at the Appeals Council?”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 8: What Happens at an ALJ Hearing?

Most people get nervous when they have to go to court, and for good reason: no one goes to court because everything is going perfectly in their life. Fortunately, going to your Social Security disability hearing does not have to be a scary event if you know what to expect.   Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 8: What Happens at an ALJ Hearing?”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 7: What do I do if I am denied for SSI or SSDI?

Only about 25% of applicants for Social Security disability benefits, SSI and SSDI, are approved the first time they apply. For the 75% of applicants who are denied, there are four levels of appeal: Reconsideration, Administrative Law Judge hearing, Appeals Council review, and filing a civil suit in Federal Court. This post will focus on the first appeal: the reconsideration. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 7: What do I do if I am denied for SSI or SSDI?”

Veterans in Pain May Find Relief with New Court Decision

Just a few days ago the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided the watershed case of Saunders v. Wilkie that will impact thousands of veterans’ claims for VA Disability Compensation benefits. Continue reading “Veterans in Pain May Find Relief with New Court Decision”

The Social Security Secrets Episode 6: What is a Denial Letter, and How Can it Help Me?

After waiting months for a decision, you finally get a letter from Disability Determination Services (DDS), but like 75% of all applicants, you were denied. Your first thought was probably not G-rated. But if your second thought was “what in the world does this letter even mean?” you’re not alone. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Episode 6: What is a Denial Letter, and How Can it Help Me?”

Shake-Up at the VA – Helpful or Harmful?

Earlier this year we started to see news stories about the Inspector General’s investigation into then-VA Secretary David Shulkin’s improper use of government funds during a trip to Europe, and misleading the VA about the trip. At first, the Trump administration backed Secretary Shulkin, one of the few Obama administration hold-overs. However, this past Wednesday, President Trump dismissed Secretary Shulkin, and nominated the White House physician, Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, to replace him. Continue reading “Shake-Up at the VA – Helpful or Harmful?”

The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 2: How Do I Apply?

Collecting your information is half the battle

Episode 2: How Do I Apply?

At this point you have passed the work and income requirements for at least one Social Security disability benefits program, SSI or SSDI. Now let’s talk about what you should expect during the application process. Though the process is a bit cumbersome, it does not have to be painful if you know what to expect and how to make it a bit easier. Continue reading “The Social Security Secrets Series Episode 2: How Do I Apply?”