I have started writing short, one-page letters to the disability examiners at the initial or reconsideration level, setting forth my theory of the case. The letter briefly describes the claimants limitations, and then makes the vocational analysis based upon the claimant’s work history. For many years I have written detailed briefs for judges at the hearing level. Since I have started writing short briefs for disability examiners, I have won many more cases at the DDS level.
There has been a tremendous amount of turnover at the DDS state agencies that make determinations on Social Security disability claims. A whole new group of examiners came in at the beginning of the COVID era, and many of those have already left and been replaced by new disability examiners. As a result, a great number of examiners do not have extensive experience. A letter analyzing the claim can be a big help.
The letter is particularly helpful regarding the vocational evidence, which goes to the heart of what the disability examiner does when making a determination. At Reconsideration, I often find myself pointing out the errors in the vocational analysis that was done at the initial level.
Call and write your disability examiner. I am winning more claims at Reconsideration, and also at the Initial level of review, due to this increased communication.