Claimant Representatives at the Initial SSA Level

March 5, 2014

SSA recently released an audit report from the Office of the Inspector General that reflects some interesting findings about representation at the initial level.  During the time frame audited (2010), SSA had a national allowance rate for initial claims of about 35%.  Initial claims were paid at a higher rate (40%) when a representative assisted in filing the claim and assisting SSA throughout the claim process.  This is unsurprising.

Claims with representatives took slightly longer to process (about 105 days) compared to those without representatives (92 days).  I expect this is due to the fact that representatives are working on cases, trying to pull together additional evidence, reviewing documents completed by claimants prior to submitting them and playing phone tag with SSA, DDS and claimants.

The auditors reached out to representative groups, who unilaterally stated that having electronic access to the claimants’ files would be helpful.  I agree.

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