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Member, National Association of Disability Representatives

The Disability Claims Digest
Volume 7                                                                           Copyright 2008
In This Issue
View our Archived Newsletters
Visit our Disability Forum
Prescription Assistance Direct from the Manufacturers
Social Security's 2008 Report on Hearing Backlogs
Attention All Health Care Professionals
20 CFR 40: Measuring the Weight of The Evidence
Breaking News from Social Security
News from National Patient Advocate Foundation
Social Security Revises Immune System Criteria
Social Security Has Gone Paperless
The Appeals Council
Quick Links

Help with Special Needs Planning

Disability Dollars and Sense

Medicare Launches Caregiver Program

Social Security Disability Benefits Tax Rules

Appeals Council Claims Statistics


Article: Young Adults With Serious Mental Illness (PDF Format)

We represent Social Security disability claimants locally, regionally and nationally.
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Please make note of our new Email Address
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Feel Free to view our archived E-Newsletters by clicking on the following link:

Our Disability Forum
Please visit our disability forum where you can  post a question, respond to a post or share any of your thoughts and experiences with us and others that are on the same journey.
Prescription Assistance is Available
Directly from the Manufacturers
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You may find that the manufacturer of the medicine you already take will provide you with a discount or completely waive the cost.

To find out if you qualify and to find your manufacturer's prescription assistance contact information

Click Here
Social Security's Report on Hearing Backlogs

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Read all the facts and statistics.
Find out what Social Security has been and will be doing to fix the backlog problems!

Report 2008
Attention All Doctors and Health Professionals

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Please click on the link below to learn all about the disability claims process and how you can help your patients with their claims!

Oftentimes, health professionals unintentionally complete or prepare reports that actually hurt their patients instead of help them with their disability claims.

It is important to remember that your patient must prove that they have a severe impairment or impairments that prevent them from working for at least 12 months or longer.  The younger the patient, the more detailed the medical evidence must be to show the extent of the severity of the condition.

Medical Professional Relations Page from ssa.gov
How Does Social Security Evaluate Medical Evidence?

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Join Our Mailing List

Welcome to the seventh edition of our Disability Claims Digest.   In this edition, we will be focusing on several topics including:

Social Security goes paperless! 

Social Security is trying to improve upon the claims process debacle.  You be the judge!

Social Security has a second hearing on the topic of "compassionate allowances".  Find out what this means for you and others who may have life threatening illnesses or medical conditions.

Social Security is constantly updating their "medical listings" to better define how they evaluate severe medical conditions.  Their latest update pertains to immune system illnesses.

Everything you need to know about the Appeals Council level of the claim process.

The National Patient Advocate Foundation is an invaluable organization that can help you find ways to get the medical treatment and medicine you may desperately need and cannot afford.

and much more...

Many of the topics that we will discuss in our monthly digests are frequently asked questions by our clients, and we hope that the information we are sharing will help to clarify some of these complicated issues.

We warmly welcome the referral of anyone that you know who may need help with their Social Security disability claim.  If you have any questions or need help with the processing of your  disability claim or with applying for Medicaid, Medicare or welfare benefits, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are here to help.

You can reach us at:



Please read on....

Breaking News from
the Social Security Administration...

Breaking News


Social Security Benefits Will Increase 5.8% This Year

Social Security Budget & Continuing Resolution

Social Security's New Strategic Plan

and more...


A second hearing was held by Social Security on he issue of Compassionate Allowances.  Social Security is making new strides to fast track and award disability claims for those individuals who have certain severe conditions.



Read all about Social Security's efforts to help hurricane victims, estimate your Social Security benefits on line, sign up for their newsletter and more...

Please visit our website for more helpful information and guidance regarding the Social Security claims process.

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Click Here to Enter SSDBC Website
National Patient Advocate Foundation

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NPAF Mission Statement

National Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization providing the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. NPAF translates the experience of millions of patients who have been helped by our companion, Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides professional case management services to individuals facing barriers to healthcare access for chronic and disabling disease, medical debt crisis and employment-related issues at no cost.

If you are in need of direct patient services, please contact Patient Advocate Foundation at 1-800-532-5274 or on the web at www.patientadvocate.org.

Social Security Revises the Immune System Disorders Criteria

Oftentimes, Social Security must revise the guidelines which they use to evaluate an individual's medical condition and how this condition  may affect their ability to function on the job.

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On June 16, 200
8, Social Security announced that they have revised their criteria guidelines for immune system related medical conditions.

Social Security will evaluate a person's functional limitation in activities of daily living, social functioning and they will look at whether or not a person is able to complete tasks efficiently, despite any problems they may have with concentration, focus, persistence and pace.

Social Security Has Gone Paperless

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If you haven't already heard all the buzz, Social Security has gone technological.  They are hoping to have a completely paperless system in short time.

Individuals can apply for retirement benefits and disability benefits electronically through the Social Security website.

Additionally, all evidence submitted in support of a disability claim can be submitted to Social Security electronically through the "Electronic Records Express" system.  This can be done by a representative, an attorney, a doctor's office, a hospital, or any other source who wishes to submit evidence in support of a claim.

The new technological advances that have been made by Social Security has helped to expedite the disability claims process greatly.  With time, all of the bugs will be worked out, the system will get better and better and people will receive determinations on their disability claims in a quicker more expedient manner.

The Appeals Council

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If your claim is denied at the initial and reconsideration levels, it must then be appealed to the hearing level.  If the claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing level, then a request for review by the Appeals Council can be requested.  If the Appeals Council denies your request to review or affirms the judge's decision, then the last and final recourse is to file a lawsuit against the Social Security Administration through the District Court.

For more information concerning the Appeals Council and the process that your claim must take at this level, please click on the links below.

From The President's
Desk light

It appears that Social Security is trying to improve their disability claims process in several ways.  They have implemented a paperless claims process allowing for applications and supporting forms to be electronically submitted via the internet.  They have also implemented the electronic records express program which allows claimants, doctors, hospitals, attorneys, representatives and others to submit medical evidence electronically.  They have improved upon their compassionate allowances program.  They have fine tuned and updated their definitions of severe medical conditions and have  studied and reported on the severe hearing backlog that exists in an attempt to improve it. 

It is my hope, as I am sure it is yours, that all of these improvements will help to make the disability claims process a much more efficient and less frustrating one to bear.

We hope that the information in this edition of our Disability Digest will prove to be beneficial to you or someone you know that is applying for or receiving Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

It is our mission to help as many people as we can to make their way through the frustrating claims process.  We are here to help anyone who is on this journey.  In addition to excellent representation services, we provide all of our clients with guidance, words of comfort, compassion, encouragement and kindness.

If you know of anyone that may benefit from the information contained in our newsletter, please forward it along to them by using the link below.

Until next time, take care and be well.
Sincerely yours,

Lisa S. Wagman, CP
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Our free case assessment allows us to quickly evaluate your claim. Just click on the link below to complete our disability information form.  We will contact you within 24-48 hours with our assessment.


Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants is a subdivision of Premier Legal Services, LLC.  We are independent benefit consultants authorized by law to represent claimants before the Social Security Administration from the initial application to the Appeals Council level.  We are in no way affiliated with the Social Security Administration directly.

We do not provide any legal advice.  Our newsletter is a general service that provides legal information.  We are not a law firm.  The information contained in this newsletter is general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual information.  We do not endorse any content provided by any linked sites, nor do we assume any responsibility for the interpretation or application of any information originating from such content.

Copyright 2007-2008 by Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials from this newsletter,
including reproduction, modification, distribution or republication,
 without the prior written consent of SSDBC, is strictly prohibited.