Mental Health

Getting in touch with your state Reps and Senate

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Generic letter to state officials

Congressional Inquiries

Dear

My name is ____________________ and I need your assistance in resolving my ___________ case with the Federal Government. I am a member of the Social Security Disability Coalition and information on our group and petition for reform to the US Government can be found here:
Sign the Social Security Disability Reform Petition – read the horror stories from all over the nation:
http://www.petitiononline.com/SSDC/petition.html
Social Security Disability Coalition – offering FREE knowledge and support with a focus on SSD reform:
http://groups.msn.com/SocialSecurityDisabilityCoalition

The Social Security Disability program is in serious need of reform. Here is a brief sampling of the issues I face as an applicant trying to get my benefits:
Homelessness, bankruptcy, even death due to the extraordinary wait times between the different phases of the disability claims process
Applying for state funded assistance in addition to Social Security because of the devastation caused by Social Security Disability
No healthcare coverage and 2 Year wait for Medicare benefits
SS employees being rude/insensitive to claimants
SS employees outright refusing to provide information to claimants or do not have the knowledge to do so
SS employees not returning calls
SS employees greatly lacking in knowledge of and in some cases purposely violating Social Security Policies and Federal Regulations (including Freedom of Information Act and SSD Pre-Hearing review process).
Claimants getting conflicting/erroneous information depending on whom they happen to talk to at Social Security – causing confusion for claimants and in some cases major problems including improper payments
Lack of attention or totally ignoring – medical records provided and claimants concerns by Field Officers, IME doctors and ALJ’s.
Fraud on the part of DDS/OHA offices, ALJ’s, IME’s – purposely manipulating/ignoring information provided to deny claims.
Complaints of lost files and files being purposely thrown in the trash
Complaints of having other claimants information improperly filed/mixed in where it doesn’t belong causing breach of security
Poor/little coordination of information between the different departments and phases of the disability process
Violations of Code of Federal Regulations Part 404 – Federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (1950-):
404.1642 Processing time standards http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-1642.htm
404.1643 Performance accuracy standard http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/404/404-1643.htm
NOTE: There are too many others to list here and these complaints refer to all phases of the SSD process including local SS offices, Disability Determinations, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Federal Appeals Council and the Social Security main office in MD (800 number).

Due to my deteriorating health conditions, I have now become disabled to a point where I can no longer work. Anyone could suddenly find themselves dealing with these same issues I now face, and we need your assistance to correct these problems. Nobody thinks this horrible existence could ever happen to them, but there are millions of Americans like myself, who are suffering and even dying due to this negligence. This is an urgent situation, and our lives depend on Congress doing what is proper for the disabled citizens of this country, to create the legislation, and provide the necessary funding to fix the broken and abusive Social Security Disability Program. I ask that you please provide your support and make your congressional colleagues aware of this crisis in order to make that happen.

Privacy Waiver: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 I hereby authorize ______________ and your staff to intervene on my behalf and to freely discuss any and all aspects of my situation.

Claimant Signature:__________________________________________
Claimant Name:
Address:
Daytime Phone Number:
Social Security Number:
Type of benefit involved (SSI, SSD, etc.):

Please find attached some additional information on my situation. Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

—————————–

SAMPLE CONGRESSIONAL LETTER INSTRUCTIONS:

Make a phone call to find out who in your Congressperson’s office handles Social Security Disability/SSI Disability issues. Speak with that person if possible and introduce yourself. Always be courteous to him/her and it does not matter if you have the same political affiliations as they do.

You can get contact info on all your elected official at:
http://www.congress.org

Fill in the blanks of the letter above to your elected official.

Make sure to fill out all contact information and sign the Privacy Waiver in the letter above.

Create an additional second page giving a brief description of your problem, medical issues and how you would like their office to help you. This should be no more than 1 page. The more clear and concise your explanation, the quicker they can process your request.

Make sure to provide the contact info for the SS office that currently has your case so that they can direct all inquiries to the correct location and/or Judge, etc

Additional documentation. If you have any documentation from Social Security that helps to explain your problem, include copies with your letter. Also include copies of eviction notices, late notices, foreclosure notices, utility bill late notices if you are requesting a dire needs expedite of your case. This additional documentation should be kept to a minimum (approximately 5 pages or less).

Once your letter has been sent, you should allow 4-6 weeks for initial processing. When a case is assigned a caseworker, you should receive a letter or phone call from that caseworker. If you don’t, call the office where the caseworker is located directly, and ask to speak to the person handling your case and request an update. Stress the urgency of your situation and the need to know the current status. Don’t call them constantly. Give them at least 1-2 weeks between calls unless they ask you to call sooner or something happens with your case that they need to know about.

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