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Welcome to the Online Appeal Video which will help prepare you file your online appeal and your disability report appeal.

At this point in the process you are telling social security that you do not agree with Reconsideration determination they made on your claim and you want to appeal their recent decision and request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Before we get started, make sure you have completed the following steps from the “Before You Appeal” video.

Step one, you should have printed the appeal checklist, gathered all of the information together and checked each item off of the list.

Step two, you should also have read through the “Tips for Using the Social Security Website” document which is available in the Resource section of RepresentMyself.com.

Make sure you’ve completed each item on the appeal checklist before continuing on.

In this video we’ll go through the actual online appeal.

There are a few ways to appeal your denial but the fastest and easiest way is online at Social Security’s website.

You can gather all of the information you’ll need before you start the appeal. It’s much less stressful to have everything organized and ready before you begin.

You can work at your own pace and take as much time as you need to think about your answers before you enter them.

Social Security is looking for specific information and they want you to present it in a very specific way. Before you begin your appeal please watch this entire video. It will give you everything you need to present your appeal to Social Security in the best way possible increasing your chances of being approved.

Your appeal timeline starts from the date on the denial letter you received from Social Security.

You are only given sixty days to file your appeal documents in order to have your disability claim reconsidered. If you do not file within the sixty days, your claim will be closed.

We recommend having the course open and this video available as a reference on a separate page from your online appeal. This will make it easier for you. In the event you have questions you can pause the appeal and watch this video before moving on.

Let’s get started!

First, you will need to log on to the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

At the top of the screen near the middle is a tab labeled Disability, click on that tab.

You will need to click on the box labeled “Appeal Our Recent Medical Decision”.

To begin, click on the box labeled “Start Your Appeal”.

You will be asked several questions to determine if you will be allowed to complete your appeal online.

Do you live in the United States or one of its territories/commonwealths?

Did you receive a notice of decision?

Your name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth

The Date on the “Notice of Decision” you received

And your Zip Code

These answers will provide Social Security with the information they need regarding your eligibility for the online appeal.

If you are eligible to file your appeal online, you will then be asked several questions regarding your contact information.

The contact information is important because Social Security will need to contact you periodically during the process of your claim.

If Social Security is unable to contact you, they will not be able to get the information they need from you and your appeal may be denied.

At the bottom of this page you will need to enter the reason for your appeal. This is where you have the chance to let Social Security know why you disagree with their decision. There is a limited amount of space so you should be brief.

Example: My condition is not improving and it continues to interfere with my ability to work.

For this appeal you will also be asked if you have additional evidence to submit and do you wish to appear at the hearing. The answer to both these questions should be yes.

You will then be asked if you wish to appear at a hearing. The answer would always be “YES”.

You will also be asked if you have current representation. Your answer will be “no”. However, should you decide in the future that you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, go to main RepresentMyself.com page and click on the “Request an Attorney” box.

Once this page is completed you will be asked to review and submit your request for hearing by administrative law judge.

On the following page Social Security will issue your reentry number.

Print this page and file this with your Disability Documents in a folder. If you lose this number and have not completed the appeal, you’ll have to start the process over. Please make sure you don’t misplace this number. Social Security employees do not have access to these reentry Numbers.

After you submit your request, you will have an option to sign off and continue with the next step later or you can begin to fill out the Disability Report Appeal.

Now let’s move on to the Disability Report Appeal so you can learn how to fill it out and complete it.

Please pause this video and go to your forms library and print the Disability Report Appeal. This form follows the online disability appeal. Filling out this hard copy will prepare you before you move go online and file your actual appeal.

Make sure you have written down or printed your reentry number and then save the appeal and sign out. You can follow through the printed form during the remainder of this video. After you have finished watching this video and completed the Disability Report Appeal, you can return to your online appeal using your reentry number.

For those of you who would like to continue on with the online disability appeal, please click continue at the bottom of the page.

The disability report appeal contains three sections:

About You, Medical History and Review and Send.

The first page of the About You section is General Information that Social Security needs from you. You have already confirmed your address but you will need to give them your telephone number and email address.

The next page is in regards to information about a Contact Person. Give the name of someone other than your doctor, Social Security can contact who knows about your medical conditions, and can help you with your claim.

Please refer to the Disability Report Appeal you printed earlier.

The next page of the appeal contains questions E through J from your printed Disability Report Appeal. The first three questions refer to any change, for better or for worse, any new limitations or any new conditions since you filed your last appeal. At this point you have received the denial letter from Social Security and if you answer these three questions with a “NO”, Social Security will assume that your condition has not changed. This is the last thing you want to happen. You deserve the right to let them know how difficult your life has become, how each day is a struggle. The answer to question E and F should be “YES” even if you are only restating what you have already said about your condition. Questions H through J are in regards to your work status and any vocational training you may have completed since you filed your claim.

You will then be asked to explain any YES answers from questions E, F and G on the following pages. The more detailed your answer, the better. You want to make yourself stand out from all the others filing for disability benefits. Detail brings understanding and compassion. For example, compare these two answers regarding pain:

My pain is worse.

This answer is inadequate because if fails to paint a clear picture of how your pain affects your life and your ability to work.

OR

My pain is so severe in my lower back that several days a week I can’t even get out of bed except to use the restroom. My family and friends have to help me when I do get up to use the restroom because it is too painful and difficult to get there on my own.

This is a much better example because it paints a clear picture of how your pain affects your life and your ability to work.

We can’t stress enough how important detail is. It could make the difference between denial and approval when your disability is being considered.

Next, you will be asked to describe how your daily activities have changed since you last completed a disability report and how your condition affects your ability to care for your personal needs.

Always be truthful in your answers.

Do not overstate or understate. However, when you are answering questions about your disability, concentrate on how you function on one of your bad days. It is very important that you focus on what you are no longer able to do.

In the Before You Appeal Video we discussed examples of mindset and how they can affect the outcome of your appeal. Just make sure you focus on a bad day and then answer the question. Also, this is the opposite of a job interview. Always focus on what you can no longer do because of your disability.

At this point in the appeal, Social Security provides you with a summary of the About You Section.

You will be able to review and edit any information you have entered into this section. At the bottom of the page you are able to Sign Off and finish later or you can continue on with the online disability appeal. If you choose to sign off you will be given the reentry number which you will need to come back and finish your appeal at a later time.

You will not be able to return to this appeal without the reentry number. Print the page or write the number down and put it in a safe place.

The next section is about your medical history. The first page is questions A through E which are about your recent medical treatment including doctors, hospitals, tests and medications. You will be asked if you have used any other names on medical records.

You will need to know the following information for each doctor:
  • Name
  • Clinic Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Patient # (if known)
  • First, last and next appointment
  • What you have been seeing the doctor for
  • What treatments your received
You will then need to enter the following information about any hospitals where you have been a patient since you filed your last appeal:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Patient # (if you know it)
  • Inpatient – Outpatient – Emergency Room Visits
    • The dates in and the dates out for each
    • The reason for each visit
    • The treatments received
    • And the next appointment if you have one

Next you will be asked to list each medication you are currently taking. You will also need to know which doctor prescribed the medication, the reason for taking the medication and any side affects you may have. Make sure you describe your side effects in detail. Sometimes the side effects from a medication can be even more devastating than what it is being used to treat.

The following page will ask you to select all of the tests you have had or expect to have since you filed your last appeal.

If your test is not listed there is a space for you to enter it. You will need to have the following information for each test:
  • When was or will the test be done
  • Where it will be done
  • Who sent you for the test
  • Which body part is it for, if this is applicable

If you have any other records from places such as a public welfare office, an attorney or maybe a private insurance company you will need to give Social Security contact information so they can order those medical records.

Once again, Social Security will allow you to review the information from the medical history section. If all the information is complete you can either sign off or continue on to the last section – Review and Send.

Please print the review and keep it for your records.

At this point you will have the opportunity to add any additional remarks.

This is where you can explain how you feel your disability has affected you and your ability to work. The more detail you give Social Security the better. The more detail you can include, the more personal your appeal is. You are no longer just words on a form. You are a person with a disability. A person who needs help with day to day tasks. A person who quite possibly is dependent on others. A person who is unable to work.

You can always go back at this point and edit any answers you have entered. Once you are sure that the appeal is complete you can submit it.

You will need to print the following pages and/or forms from the confirmation page.
  • The Confirmation of receipt for your online disability appeal report
  • The Cover Sheet
  • And the Medical Release Form

Make sure you complete the appeal. Continue until you reach the “FINISH” button and click on it.

Your online appeal is not complete until you click the “FINISH” button and Social Security will not start processing your appeal until it is complete.

If you can, obtain any recent medical records and submit a copy of them along with your paperwork to Social Security. Social Security will attempt to obtain your medical records based on the information you have given them but they are more likely to have a complete set of records if you supply them with one.

Never send Social Security any form, medical record or any type of documentation without keeping a copy for yourself.

Make yourself a note to contact Social Security within seven days to confirm they have received your appeal and all of the backup documentation.

In the next section we will walk you through each step of the pre-hearing development process.

Which will help you understand exactly what happens and what information Social Security will need from you.