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TIP #4: Cooperate with the Disability Determination Services whenever they request your assistance in providing information or attending exams.

Nothing causes more delays in processing a disability claim than the failure of an individual to cooperate in obtaining evidence in one form or another. When the evaluator sends you a letter, you need to respond. Keep her apprised of any problems you may have in meeting the requirements of evidence. Remember, the process is one of obtaining the evidence required by the Social Security law to make a decision about your disability. When the evaluator asks you to provide information or to attend an exam, it is not because he is "jerking you around." He has far too much work to do to play those kind of games, so he only asks for information he needs to meet the legal requirements of your case. In the event that you decide not to cooperate, at the very least, you delay your claim considerably, and at worst, your claim could be denied due to failure to cooperate. On occasion, when the evidence received (or not received) from your own doctors or hospitals is not sufficient to make a decision about your condition, it is necessary to have you go to an exam(s) to obtain at least the minimal amount of information needed for your claim. These exams are performed by doctors that are approved by the state in which the exams are performed and they meet Social Security?s rigorous requirements for providing the information that is most useful to the evaluator. The doctors do not make the decision. They only provide information in the form of detailed reports that closely follow the requirements of Social Security?s Listings of Impairments. You are not required to pay for these exams, and if there is some difficulty with transportation, the evaluator will work with you to get you there. Remember, it is in everyone?s best interest for you to attend the exam as soon as possible. Cooperation will speed things along more than anything else you can do to pursue your disability claim.


Copyright © 1998 D. Wentz Jenkins