Feb 20, 2014

"Electronic Matrimony"

     A message I received from the Social Security Administration:
Dear Colleague:
I have great news!  Social Security has made it even easier for people to apply online for disability benefits.  We have joined the Social Security disability benefits application, and the adult disability report in “electronic matrimony.”  It used to be that you had to complete both of these forms separately when applying for disability benefits.  Our new streamlined process puts both forms together all in one place.  Please refer to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability for more information.
Be advised that this application is for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits only.  To find out about applying for Supplemental Security Income benefits, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/ssi.htm.
Thank you for your support as we continually strive to improve our service to the American people.


Anonymous said...

My staff tells me there's no real improvement in the application process here. However, it's the separate SSI application that really delays things. For any SSI or DIB/SSI application, DO must speak with the claimant to complete the application. However, we're getting delays of 30-60 days to receive that SSI phone call. So even if we complete the DIB app online for our client, if there's a concurrent SSI claim, we're waiting another month or two to complete that application. The backlog is really starting to grow at the initial level. One should be also be able to file for SSI online, too.

Anonymous said...

Great, now they're letting the ones and the zeros get married.


@ 1:28 That is annoying. We're not having nearly that long between application and initial interview, but almost of all of our client's have phone or in person initial interviews.

The inability to file an I-appeal on joint spousal claims involving SSI hurts too.

Anonymous said...

A local DO has advised that for T16 claims we should file the T2 internet application with the embedded disability report and indicate that a T16 claim is requested, THEN send in a completed T16 paper application. The T2 claim will be denied as it should be for lack of insured status but the filing protects the T16 filing date.

Anonymous said...

It has been my observation that most self-help SSI claims are woefully incomplete for two reasons; one is that the form is horribly complicated and doesn't totally match up with the electronic filing system (MSSICS) and the second is that applicants are prone to neglect to report all pertinent information unless they are interviewed by someone who asks questions about obvious discrepancies (paying $500 rent on zero income). If SSA ever does allow online SSI claims, the volume of applications will increase by people who don't meet the income and resource limits and it might not be discovered until after the ODAR hearing, at the back end. So a person could make a choice to spend down certain assets in order to qualify or hold on to that $2500 joint account with his mother and then have the SSI claim denied after the ALJ says yes to disabled which leads to zero SSI fees for the rep. Bad plan, IMO.

Anonymous said...

I experienced this for two initial claims which the claimants filed in my office (but they signed!) on 2/10/2014. The application flows into the 3368 questions without an opportunity to sign off and then sign in later. The biggest problems are: with this "marriage", claimants cannot complete the 3368 by itself (my clients just didn't know/have all the info requested, so that's a built-in delay for the application) AND it takes about 90 minutes minimum -- possibly 2 hours or more -- to complete these together. That is a really long time for anyone to deal with, much less a disabled person. One client already had an appointment to go into the servicing DO in about a week, for the SSI application. I accompanied the client to the DO, and the 3368 info was given at that time to the CR, along with the CR taking the T16 application.
That was a delay of more than a week in getting the dib application transmitted to State Agency. That's going in the wrong direction, with built-in lengthy delays. And, the CR told me that, sometime in April, SSA is no longer going to provide certain services in the DOs and representatives will have to do more. If that's substantial, that may drive a number of reps out of initial claims -- counterproductive as far as SSA is concerned, since the claimants will then have to contact SSA directly. I doubt that SSA will be able to refuse to take initial claims, whatever their staffing shortages.

Anonymous said...

To 6:03--SSA will not "refuse" to take new claims--will just tell you to file online. Catch is, cannot file SSI online. And if there are no available appointments, people will have to sit on their phones every day trying to be the first to schedule an appt when the calendar rolls over. Same thing for T2 if claimant has no computer--another "option" that is impossible to use. No one will be "refusing", just throwing claimants into an impossible Catch 22.

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