Social Security’s Restricted Budget Means Fewer Workers for Disability Program

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Allsup outlines advantages of representation when filing disability claim for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits

Expert representatives like Allsup advocate for you to ensure your claim receives attention throughout the process.

Lean times have come to the Social Security Administration (SSA), forcing the federal agency to reduce its nationwide staff by an estimated 5,000 employees over the next two years. This reduction in workers adds to the urgency for people seeking Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI) benefits to consider an expert representative to file their disability claims, according to Allsup, which has helped thousands of people to receive their SSDI benefits.

The SSA recently reported a loss of 4,000 employees in fiscal year 2011, and expects a loss of 3,000 employees this fiscal year and 2,000 employees in FY 2013. This adds up to 9,000 lost employees at SSA and state Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices nationwide. In FY 2012, the federal agency is operating with $400 million less than it did two years ago.

“There’s simply no way not to see this as a setback for Social Security disability claimants, particularly those who file their claims directly with the SSA and then sit back and hope for the best,” said Mike Stein, assistant vice president of claims for Allsup. “If your medical history and other documentation aren’t complete and accurate, the SSA likely isn’t going to have time to help you straighten things out, and your claim will be denied.”

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 eligible. Applicants must be under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and can no longer work because of a severe disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Individuals pay for the insurance program through FICA taxes while they are working.

Having professional representation such as Allsup, a leading Social Security disability representation company that has helped thousands of people receive their benefits, can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome, Stein said. Allsup has secured SSDI benefits for more than 170,000 people with disabilities. “Allsup’s disability experts will not only get your Social Security Disability Insurance claim approved, but often more quickly and with less stress as well,” he said.

Social Security Disability Representation: Six Advantages

Allsup outlines the following advantages of having an SSDI representative on your side:

1. Have a well-documented claim. SSDI representatives speed the review of your Social Security disability claim by creating a thoroughly developed case that is completed using the experience and knowledge of policies that SSA examiners follow. With Allsup’s help from the beginning, you can help ensure Social Security’s disability examiners have the information needed to make a well-informed decision on your claim earlier and possibly avoid the hearing altogether. This also saves you from the challenges of completing unfamiliar forms with the information and detail the government needs.

2. Receive your benefits faster and possibly at a lower cost. Typically, Allsup is able to help more initial SSDI applicants, about 52 percent, receive their benefits at the application level compared to the national average of just 34 percent. The ability to receive Social Security disability benefits at the initial application level can save hundreds of days of waiting for a decision. Those who are awarded at the application level typically have a lower representation fee.

3. Benefit from expertise with the SSDI process. SSDI representatives are skilled at noticing additional impairments that may have a bearing on your claim and can assist with further documenting your inability to work and qualification for SSDI benefits based on your disability.

4. Avoid the stress and limit the health impact. A 2009 customer survey conducted by Allsup found that applicants experience a great amount of stress—75 percent reported feeling significant or extreme stress. This often is compounded by financial difficulties many people with disabilities experience during their wait for Social Security benefits. In addition, 53 percent of respondents reported that their illness grew worse in the long wait for SSDI benefits.

5. Ensure your claim moves through the SSDI process. Expert representatives like Allsup advocate for you to ensure your claim receives attention throughout the process, including making sure an accurate onset date of disability is established for your claim, and that filing deadlines and medical records requests are met on time.

6. Benefit from strong claims history to help with your appeal. Even with an experienced expert at your side, many disability applications are still denied. Allsup makes sure appeal deadlines are met, collects additional medical evidence, keeps you updated on the status of your claim, prepares an authoritative brief for the administrative law judge to review and appears on your behalf at the hearing. In a large percentage of cases, however, Allsup requests and receives a decision “on-the-record,” which means the judge is satisfied with the documentation and you do not have to appear in person at a hearing.

Most Social Security disability claimants whose claims reach the hearing level have representation. Nearly 80 percent of SSDI claimants had a representative in fiscal year 2010, according to the SSA.

“Individuals with all types of disabilities struggle through the disability application process on their own, either at their initial application or with their appeals,” Stein said. “It’s a difficult experience and it happens when they least need the additional stress, suffering and pain. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”

If you have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance, or would like a free evaluation to determine if you are likely to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, contact the Allsup Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276. An Allsup disability professional can help you determine if you may qualify for SSDI benefits.

ABOUT ALLSUP

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 more than 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 http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.

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Rebecca Ray
Allsup
(800) 854-1418 65065
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Tai Venuti
Allsup
800-854-1418 68573
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