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The Social Security Administration handles several important federal programs, such as Social Security Disability and Social Security Benefits.

Constituents contact me often with questions about their retirement, disability and Medicare benefits-- below are a few of the most common questions my office receives that deal with this agency.

 

How do I apply for my Social Security Benefits?

Please visit your local Social Security office to find out more about what benefits you may be qualified to receive. You can search online for your local office here, or call the main Social Security office line for help at 1-800-722-1213.

Where can I find more information about my Social Security Retirement benefits?

Your local Social Security office can help you with this issue. Visit the Social Security Regional Site to find your local Social Security office.

If you would like my help with a Social Security issue, please print out my Privacy Release Form and fax or mail it to my office with a brief summary of your case and any supporting documents.

How long does it take to process Social Security Disability claims?

An application for Social Security Disability can take between six weeks to several years to handle, depending on a variety of factors. For more information, visit the Social Security Disability Benefits page.

Visit the Social Security Regional Site to find your local Social Security office.

The times below are merely estimates but represent what people in the district have experienced over the past few years:

Initial Processing - 6 to 8 weeks

Some cases are approved in this first step. If your case is denied at this level, you are encouraged to apply for reconsideration.

Reconsideration - 6 to 8 weeks

Like the Initial Processing, this is all done through paperwork. If your case is denied here, you are encouraged to request a hearing in front of an Administration Law Judge.

Hearings and Appeals - 9 to 12 months

An Administrative Law Judge will hear your claim at this level. It usually takes 9 to 12 months to get a hearing. It can take a few months longer to get a decision. You may want to get an attorney or other qualified individual to help represent you in your hearing. If you are denied at this level, you can appeal your case to the Appeals Council.

Appeals Council - 24 to 36 months

If your claim is not approved by the Appeals Council, your only option is to file a lawsuit if you want to continue your claim.

What can the Congressman do to help with my Disability claim?

I am always happy to help constituents who need assistance with a disability claim. However, there are limits to what I can do. At my request, Social Security officials will provide a status update and may keep me updated throughout the process. Although I cannot expedite a claim, an inquiry can help explain the details of your claim process.

It is important to know that I do not have the authority to overturn any decision made by the Social Security Administration. Beneficiaries are encouraged to follow the guidelines for the Social Security appeals process.

After you file the paperwork for disability benefits with your local Social Security office, I would be pleased to follow the progress of your claim. If you would like my help, please contact my district office staff at (480) 946-2411.