New evidence for Social Security claims must be submitted 5 business days ahead of the hearing. See 20 CFR 404.935(a) and HALLEX I-2-5-13. With a typical weekend, that’s 7 days ahead of the hearing. Holidays, which are of course not business days, must be accounted for as well. So beware the 3-day holiday weekend
New Hearing Format Form from NOSSCR
NOSSCR has developed what it calls a “Hearing Format Election Statement,” which is an excellent one-page, fillable form that contains all four types of hearing modalities (in-person, VTC, telephone, and online video) and allows for a simple way to notify the hearing office of how the claimant wants to appear at their hearing.
2022 “Waterfall” Chart
The “waterfall” chart shows what percentage of disability claims were allowed and denied nationwide at each level of review. Social Security publishes this chart each year.
Social Security’s Grid Rules
As dedicated readers know, at Step 5 of the disability sequential evaluation, Social Security uses the Medical-Vocational Guidliness to determine disability. The guidelines, or “grids,” direct a finding of “disabled” or “not disabled” based upon a person’s age, physical RFC, education and past work/transferable skills.
If the medical-vocational guidlines direct a result of “disabled,”…
New Supplemental Rules for Social Security Civil Actions
Effective today, December 1, 2022, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) have been amended to include Supplemental Rules for Social Security Civil Actions under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
According to NOSSCR’s email to its members, highlights of the new rules include:
Pleading Requirements for the Complaint
Under the new FRCP Rule 2, a complaint…
My favorite letter to write
When one of my clients is awarded disability benefits, I like to write a short letter to the local Social Security field office, asking them to quickly process the disability claim. I want the local office to send the claim promptly to the Social Security Payment Center for payment.
When the person awarded Social Security…
Social Security Processing Center Phone Numbers
The Social Security Processing Centers calculate and pay a claimant’s disability benefits, once a favorable decision or determination has been made.
The SSA has posted on its site the telephone numbers for the various processing centers. These numbers are for attorney and non-attorney Representatives to call, rather than individual disability claimants.
Disability cases are broken…
Review your Fully Favorable decisions
When I see that a Social Security disability case has been closed, I review the ALJ decision online long before the paper copy arrives in the mail. For unfavorable decisions, of course you are looking at the reasoning of the decision, and for flaws that would support an appeal to the Appeals Council.
The best time to draft an Appeals Council Request for Review
We all lose a disability claim now and then. When the claim really should have been granted, the next step is drafting a Request for Review for the Appeals Council. Like most appeals of Social Security disability claims, there is a 60-day deadline for the appeal. But the best time to write a first draft…
2021 Waterfall Chart
SSA has released the “waterfall” chart for fiscal year 2021.
The chart show what percentage of disability claims were granted and denied nationwide at each level of review:
- 36% were granted after an initial review of the application. That’s a bit more than 1 out of 3.
- Just 13% of the claims appealed were granted