How Avoiding the Government Shutdown Means Good News for Your Claim

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On Friday, April 8, 2011 Congress reached a budget settlement and avoided a government shutdown. Disability Group explains the impact this has on social security claims already in the works and how it will affect those that apply in 2011.

Social Security Disability claimants and representatives across the country were relieved to learn last week that Congress had reached a budget settlement and the federal government would not be shut down. Had the government shut down, the Social Security Administration’s case backlog could have grown even larger, according to Disability Group Inc., ( one of the nation’s leading Social Security Disability firms.

Winning a disability claim can already take up to three years to achieve. With the stakes higher than ever, and the wait so long, Disability Group reports that an applicant should use every weapon in their arsenal to get his or her claim approved. Sometimes letters from elected representatives can be exactly what is needed.

Why Do You Need A Letter From A Congressperson?

One of the hardest parts about applying for disability is the extremely long line to see an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This can be especially difficult if an applicant is in danger of losing food, shelter, or healthcare. With the Social Security Administration reporting a case backlog that is longer than ever, letters from your Congressperson can be helpful in expediting the application process by supporting a “Dire Need” request.

A dire need letter explains why your specific financial hardship should allow you to cut the long line to see a judge, reports Disability Group. Normally this means you are in danger of foreclosure, eviction, having utilities shut off, or can’t pay for prescription medications. The most important factor is to have evidence that supports your assertion. Patrick Ryan, the Director of Operations at Disability Group, says “A letter from your elected representative can go a long way towards supporting your claim, and getting you in front of a judge sooner.”

How Do You Ask For A Letter From A Congressperson?

It is easy to find your Representative by going to the website of the House of Representatives, located online at There, simply type in your zip code, and the names and addresses of your Representatives will show up.

When writing your letter, keep it simple and to-the-point. Follow these important steps to make sure you get the help you need from your elected officials:

1.    Keep your letter one page in length. Anything longer, and the Congressperson might not read it.
2.    Tell them what your disability is, what your symptoms are, and how it affects your daily life.
3.    Tell them what your financial hardship is.
Disability Group states that following these steps should help you receive notice from your Congressperson’s office that they have submitted a letter on your behalf, and will follow up with status updates on your case.

Remember, social security receives thousands of letters from applicants so make sure your letter stands out. There is no guarantee that a letter will win you a claim or expedite your hearing, but there is no harm in giving it a shot. If you have any questions about how to write a letter to your Representative, Disability Group recommends contacting your Social Security Disability representative.

Disability Group Inc was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. For more information about Social Security, or to see if you qualify for benefits, visit us at


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Gilda Mehraban