Monday, September 7, 2015

Updating Your Social Security Disability Case

As we all know, the Social Security Disability claims process is very slow.  While you wait for your case to be decided, it is extremely important to continue receiving intensive medical care for your conditions.  Moreover, you must keep your lawyer updated on certain specific developments in your case.  Here is a list of certain things that you must keep your lawyer updated while your case is pending:

  • Any attempts to go back to work:  If you decide to work or to make an attempt to work while your case is pending, you must immediately notify your lawyer.  Be prepared to provide your lawyer with paystubs of all the payments that you have received.  Moreover,  you should provide your attorney with a list of the duties that you perform on your job.  Consult with your attorney to make sure your attempt to work is not inconsistent with your allegations of disability.  
  • Changes in address and other contact information:  This one is common sense.  Unfortunately, many clients forget to let their lawyers know about changes in address, email or telephone. Always provide your lawyer with alternative contact information from relatives or close friends in case that your are too sick to be able to respond to your lawyer when he or she is looking for you.
  • For SSI cases, any changes in income:  If you have an SSI case, you must notify your lawyer of any new sources of income received by you.  For example, if your former spouse begins paying alimony after the filing of your disability claim, you must tell your lawyer.  Changes in income can affect your eligibility for SSI.
  • Any offers to settle your worker's comp case:   If your SSDI case is pending, you should not sign a settlement agreement in a worker's compensation case without first running it by your Social Security Disability Lawyer.  Once you sign an agreement in a worker's comp. case, you might be stuck with a fairly high reduction in your Social Security Disability Benefits.  It might be possible for your Social Security lawyer to include language in the settlement agreement that prevents a high reduction (offset) in benefits.
  • New medical treatment and new doctors:  If you are receiving a new type of medical treatment or have a new doctor, you must let your lawyer know.  Be prepared to send the law firm an email, if possible, with the name of the doctor(s) or treatment sources, dates of treatment and the doctors addresses.