Can I Get Social Security Disability Directly, or Do I Need Help?

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Allsup outlines advantages of choosing professional representative as Social Security Disability Insurance applications reach more than 275,000 in September

“Allsup representatives have accumulated hundreds of years in disability benefits experience.” – David Bueltemann, Allsup

Applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits reached 275,981 in September 2011, nearly 19 percent higher than September 2010. The increase highlights the large number of people entering the federal program, according to Allsup, which has helped tens of thousands of people with disabilities receive their Social Security benefits.

“Not only is the Social Security Administration dealing with a sizable number of current disability claims, there’s also a tremendous backlog of claims awaiting action,” said David Bueltemann, Allsup’s manager of senior claims representatives. “You can be certain that Allsup experts are going to give your SSDI claim the attention it deserves by thoroughly and accurately completing the work, ensuring important details are documented, and following up every step along the way.”

September SSDI applications were higher than the previous two years, according to the SSA. Applicants filed 232,270 claims for SSDI benefits in September 2010 and 221,830 claims in September 2009.

The first step for people with severe disabilities is filing a claim, and they have a choice: apply on their own or hire an advocate. Even if a claim appears to be rock solid, the SSA deals with hundreds of thousands of claims at any given time and there are benefits to having an expert SSDI representative on your side, Bueltemann said.

SSDI is a federally mandated disability insurance program overseen by the SSA that operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months, or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. More details are provided in the SSDI Overview on

Advantages Of Social Security Disability Representation
There are several advantages to having a Social Security disability representative, especially at the initial application. An SSDI expert also can significantly improve someone’s chances to receive benefits after they’ve been denied.

Benefits include:
1.    Have a well-documented claim. SSDI representatives speed the review of someone’s Social Security disability application by creating a thoroughly developed claim. It is completed using the experience and knowledge of policies that SSA examiners follow, and it’s handled by experts who have guided thousands of individuals through this process.

2.    Receive benefits faster—possibly at a lower cost. Compared to the national average, Allsup helps more initial SSDI applicants receive their benefits at the application level. The SSA’s Office of Inspector General also reported that people who have an SSDI representative helping them file an initial application could save hundreds of days waiting for a decision. Claimants also usually pay a lower fee when awarded at the application level. “And remember, we only get paid if you receive your benefits,” Bueltemann pointed out.

3.    Benefit from expertise with the SSDI process. Social Security Disability Insurance representatives are skilled at noticing when additional impairments may impact an SSDI claim. They also can provide additional documentation on one’s inability to work and qualification for SSDI benefits based on the disability.

4.    Avoid stress and limit the health impact. An Allsup customer survey found that SSDI applicants experience significant stress—75 percent reported feeling significant or extreme stress. In addition, 53 percent of respondents said their illness grew worse during the long wait for SSDI benefits. Relying on a representative can help reduce this burden.

5.    Ensure the claim moves through the SSDI process. Allsup representatives track the progress of a disability claim and ensure it is receiving attention, including ensuring an accurate onset date of disability is established and that filing deadlines and medical records requests are met.

6.    Apply strong claims history to help with an appeal. Even with an SSDI expert on their side, many disability applications are still denied. An experienced representative will ensure appeal deadlines are met, collect additional medical evidence, keep the claimant updated on the status of the claim, prepare an authoritative brief for the judge to review, and appear on his or her behalf at the hearing. Allsup representatives also may request and receive a decision “on-the-record” for some individuals, which means the judge is satisfied with the documentation and the claimant doesn’t have to attend a hearing.

Because the SSA denies 65 percent of initial claims, an applicant may not be able to avoid an initial denial. But an expert SSDI representative can help save time and dramatically improve the odds in someone’s favor.

“Allsup representatives have accumulated hundreds of years in disability benefits experience,” Bueltemann said. “We put this experience to work not only making sure your casework is complete, but speeding your case through the appeals process, if and when that becomes necessary.”

If you have questions about appealing your SSDI denial or about your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, contact Allsup’s Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free disability evaluation.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to

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Rebecca Ray
(800) 854-1418 65065
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Dan Allsup
(800) 854-1418 65760
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