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The road to benefits. (Shrewd Moves).

People seeking SSDI benefits should know that initial rejection is common: only 46.7% of SSDI applicants are accepted on their first try. The majority of those who file an appeal for reconsideration are accepted. If they are rejected again, they can ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and an Appeals Council.

Despite her lawyer's unfortunate attitude and her own understandable but undeserved feeling of shame, Beth Ambler did a good job relating the facts about how MS impacts her life. That, plus appropriate medical documentation, and persistence are the essential strategies for success.

* Individuals should start by contacting their Social Security office for all the forms and instructions. Call 800-772-1213 or log on to <www.ssa.gov>. Then talk to your physician about the medical statement, as this document is critical to the claim.

* Medical statements should be guided by Disability Evaluation Under Social Security (SSA publication #64-039), which lists the medical criteria. Your doctor can obtain it free from the SSA Office of Communication, P.O. Box 17743, Baltimore, MD 21235, or from the Web site at <ssa.gov/disability/ professional/bluebook/Adult Listings.htm>.

It is also common to hire advocates or representatives, particularly those who are members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives. Your Society chapter should be able to refer you to experienced specialists in your area.
COPYRIGHT 2002 National Multiple Sclerosis Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:disability insurance
Publication:Inside MS
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:228
Previous Article:It's a battle for benefits. (Shrewd Moves).
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