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Proposal requiring more medical information in SSDI applications

It seems we can expect the Social Security Administration to tighten rules concerning those applying for Social Security disability benefits.  The SSA has proposed that applicants provide relevant medical information to authorities.  It appears that such requires will even apply to applicants that are not able to work.

There have also been concerns that information received from applicants is incomplete.  The SSA would like all evidence turned over to them regardless of whether the information is favorable or unfavorable to an applicant's case.

The proposal may have come about due to the actions of one large firm that was said to withhold information that could alter the outcome of their client's case. In any circumstance, the new requirements could pose additional challenges for Wisconsin individuals hoping to see their applications processed.

When submitting an application for SSDI benefits, the initial request will go to a state agency for a determination. In the event of a denial, individuals can reapply to the state agency. At some point a request for a hearing with a Social Security judge can then be made.

Social Security judges are asked to decide upon a large number of matters.  Requests by these judges for more information often proves to be problematic because subpoenas will need to be issued to doctors and hospitals where information may or may not be found.

The proposed changes by the SSA may have come about due to pressure from Congress. The SSA has requested feedback concerning this proposal and changes to the rules could be made in the upcoming months.

We need to keep in mind that the SSA is kept extremely busy. In 2012 there were 3.2 million applications and approximately 820,000 hearing requests. In light of the number of applications and pressures for the SSA to change the manner in which applications are approved, there is a great need for clients to at least consult with Social Security disability lawyers.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Social Security Proposes to Tighten Rules on Disability Appeals," Damian Paletta, March 6, 2014

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