Social Security’s Online Services

Posted April 20, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Did you know that you can conduct much of your Social Security business online? While there are over 1,200 local Social Security field offices throughout the country, wait times to be helped at these offices and over the phone can be very long. Each field office serves an average of approximately 250,000-300,000 individuals!

Online services are available from 5 AM – 1 AM EST Monday through Friday, 5 AM – 11 PM EST on Saturdays, and 8 AM – 11:30 PM EST on Sundays, as opposed to the field offices’ more restrictive hours of 9 AM – 4 PM Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday and only 9 AM – 12 PM on Wednesdays (local times).

You can perform the following services online:

  • Request a replacement Social Security card
  • Apply for Social Security benefits
  • Get your Social Security Statement
  • Appeal a decision
  • Find out if you qualify for benefits
  • Estimate your future benefits
  • Download proof of benefits
  • Change your address
  • And more!

While you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits by yourself online, we highly recommend consulting an advocate or attorney to ensure that your application is filed correctly and is accurate, complete, and thorough. This will increase your chances of being awarded at an earlier stage in the process.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

List of SSA Online Services: https://www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_content=April-is-NSSM-Infographic&utm_campaign=ocomm-nssm-18

By: Thomas A. Klint of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

The Pre-Hearing Conference

Posted April 11, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

IBS monthMost people who apply for Social Security Disability are initially denied benefits. If you are denied at the initial level, or in most states a secondary “reconsideration” level, you can file a request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will make a ruling on your claim independently from the decisions made at the earlier stages.

After you request a hearing by submitting the proper SSA forms, the ALJ may decide to hold what is called a “prehearing conference.” These conferences are usually done by telephone. The ALJ does not have to hold a prehearing conference, but if the ALJ does, he or she will look to whether or not there is anything can be done to speed up the hearing process.

If you get a notice of a pre-hearing conference, do not ignore it.  We recommend that you seek the representation of a qualified advocate or attorney who can help you prepare the strongest case possible.

At a pre-hearing conference, you will be asked about the medical treatment you have been receiving.  The burden to provide evidence to support your disability is on you, and so it is up to you to provide the medical evidence about your mental and physical conditions that keep you from being able to work. The ALJ may also consider matters such as simplifying or amending the issues, obtaining and submitting evidence, and any other matters that may expedite the hearing.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®

April Health Awareness: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Posted April 6, 2018 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

IBS month

April is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month!

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are not alone – IBS is actually quite common, with prevalence estimated at approximately 10% to 15%. Yet many people remain undiagnosed and unaware that their symptoms indicate a medically recognized disorder.

What is IBS?

IBS, a relative of ulcerative colitis, is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects millions of individuals, women more so than men. Characterized by alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation, the debilitating symptoms of IBS also include abdominal cramping and bloating, and sometimes a significant amount of anxiety and stress. Between 20% and 50% of all visits to the gastroenterologist involve IBS.

Individuals who are not able to control the symptoms of IBS usually have significant restrictions in their daily activities. Although IBS is a commonly diagnosed condition, it can nonetheless be a severe impairment.

IBS and SSA

IBS is not currently included in the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments (medical conditions that listed are eligible for benefits if the applicant meets the criteria in the listings). However, if you can prove that your symptoms are painful, disruptive, and distracting enough to keep you from working a full-time job, you may be able to get benefits.

If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free evaluation of your claim!

By: Joyce Trudeau of Premier Disability Services, LLC®