Category Archives: Social Security Disability Benefits

How Important Council Briefs are to Your Disability Case

When your client’s application for Social Security Disability has been denied, it can be a very stressful time. If you want to pursue your case after being denied, you will need a Social Security Disability Appeal Brief if you want to move forward. It can be confusing and you may want to consult a summary service in order to write the best brief that you can. There are certain things you need to know about this document and why you need one.

Council Brief

Why you should use a summary service to write your Social Security Disability Appeal Brief:

- It will save you time and energy.

By working with a summary service, you will save time and energy. You are busy and it’s important to work the most efficiently that you can. You will be able to work off a prepared brief instead of needing to go through pages on your own. By using a service, you will also save energy. You can focus on other aspects of the case and devote your attention to the most important things.

- It will save you staff and money.

You will not need additional staff to help you go through information when you use a service. This will actually end up saving you money and allow you to use your resources in the most efficient ways possible.

What you should know about a Social Security Disability Appeal Brief:

- It is structured like a letter and is timing specific.

You need to submit the brief no more than three months after you file the request for review. The structure of the brief is also important. It needs to be structured as a letter and begin with “Dear Appeals Council Member.”

- The length is approximate.

It’s important to not make the brief either too long or too short. This should be about three or four pages. This amount of space should give you enough room to address all of the things that you need to in the letter.

- The heading is important.

The heading needs to have the name of your client, Social Security number and date of birth to make sure that it doesn’t get confused with anyone else’s case.

- The following information should be present in the letter:

Make sure to get all of the necessary information from your client. Your client should have received information from the Social Security Administration about what was used to determine the case. This should have the official decision as well as medical records. You need to be specific and cite certain exhibits and page numbers.

- Work closely with your client.

You will need to get all of the information you can from your client in order to write the best council brief. Don’t be worried about giving the summary service you’re working with too much information. It is our job to work through the information and pick out the most important. Our expertise in writing these documents will aide in your case and free up some of your time to focus on what you really need to.

- You will need to wait.

It can take some time for the Appeals Council to review your case. It can take anywhere between three and twelve months in order to hear back about your brief. Prepare your client for this wait as well and keep in contact with them about the status.

Social Security Disability Appeal Briefs are key to your case. By working with a summary service, you will be sure to have the best document in order to move forward. Contact us for more information.

Social Security Disability Benefits Terminology and Meanings

The Social Security Disability process is filled with jargon and vernacular not common to everyday people. Demystifying this terminology and its meanings through simple explanations goes far in helping applicants through the Social Security benefits process. Understanding the nuts and bolts of each of the terms below increases one’s effectiveness as an advocate in disability cases.

Social Security Disability Benefits Terminology and Meanings

Appeal
Once a Social Security Administration (SSA) decision is reached, if an applicant disagrees with the outcome, he or she holds the right to appeal. In other words, the claimant asks SSA to review the case again, possibly with additional information or evidence.

Back Pay
Also known as retroactive pay, back pay grants monthly benefits to qualified individuals prior to their application date. These benefits could date back as early as the onset of the disability.

Benefits
Supplemental income is awarded to qualified applicants through monthly cash benefits and/or medical coverage. These benefits fall under the categories of retirement, disability, family, survivors and Medicare. Individuals below the retirement age with a limiting medical impairment which hinders the ability to work qualify.

Decision Notice
An official letter sent to the applicant states whether a decision has been made to approve or deny benefits. The mailed letter includes the decision explanation, payable benefits and the expected monthly cash amount.

Disability
The SSA defines disability as a condition that lasts or is expected to last for 12 months or result in death. This mental or physical impairment must prevent an individual from engaging in work or “substantial gainful activity” (SGA).

Evidence
Sometimes labelled “proofs,” evidence includes the documentation required to support an applicant’s claim. While the proof needed looks the same foundationally, certain medical conditions may require extraneous support.

SSDI
One vehicle through which the SSA awards benefits to disabled workers and their families is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These awards are granted based on several factors including the time one has worked and his or her payment of Social Security taxes.

SSI
The federal program, Social Security Income (SSI), offers disabled individuals and their families supplemental income based on financial need. Funding for this effort comes through general tax revenue.

SGA
The level of work activity and earnings by an individual whether full or part time defines substantial gainful activity (SGA). Factors of pay or profit and the significance of physical and/or mental activities by the claimant play into this definition as well.