If you change your address after filing for SSDI or SSI benefits, I strongly encourage you to keep a copy of the written notice that you supplied to the Social Security Administration. As reported by the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives NOSSCR), a 2013 internal study was conducted by the Social Security Administration concerning hearing notices being sent to incorrect or aged addresses. The SSA examined a random sampling of 400 cases from a number of hearing offices. The study revealed that approximately 15% of hearing notices were sent to an old address, despite the Social Security Administration having been provided with the claimant's current contact information. Only 10% of the cases that were dismissed had representatives on file. What I found to be most disturbing from the study - approximately 60% of cases that were dismissed included mental illness as a medical impairment.
Thankfully, the Social Security Administration recognized the problem revealed by the study. The Administration expanded the study and found that, in approximately 19,000 cases, claims were dismissed after hearing notices were sent to old addresses. The Administration announced plans to send new notices to the claimants involved in these cases offering them the opportunity to have new hearings. The notices were to be sent in November, 2014. If you receive one of these notices, a new hearing will NOT be automatically scheduled - you must notify the Administration that you want a new hearing.
This study reinforces two important points - first, it is vital to provide the Social Security Administration with WRITTEN notice when you change your address and you should never conduct important business with the Administration by phone. I often take calls from prospective clients who tell me that they called "someone" at the Social Security Administration and were given incorrect information. If you are attempting to show that you followed proper procedure when dealing with the Administration, you should have the proof - in writing. The second, and most important point, is the advantage of having a local Social Security disability attorney representing you and maintaining contact with the Social Security Administration on your behalf. As the initial study indicated, only 10% of the initial 400 cases that were reviewed had a representative listed on the case. When you are filing for disability benefits, you have a lot going on -mistakes can happen. Having a local Social Security disability attorney on your side can help prevent these costly errors.
If you are considering filing for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or have received a denial of your application for benefits, contact us today for a free case evaluation.