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  • Identifying Possible Special Medical Vocational Profiles

    In an effort to better identify appropriate SOAR claimants, identifying claims which are more likely to have a favorable outcome is paramount. Social Security has developed Special Medical Vocational Profiles, which are rare combinations of adversities that combine, along with impairments, to result in a finding of disabled. 

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    Article
  • SSA Issues an Emergency Message for Evaluating COVID

    SSA is now evaluating the long-term effects of COVID-19 when determining disability. On April 16, 2021, SSA issued an Emergency Message (EM) with guidance to its employees for evaluating adult disability cases that include an allegation or diagnosis of COVID-19. Here are the key points of the EM as well as tips for SOAR practitioners to effectively represent SSI/SSDI applicants whose functioning is impacted by COVID-19.

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    Article
  • ALJ Video Hearings

    The Social Security Administration now offers a video option for Administrative Law Judge appeal hearings.

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    Article
  • SOAR Collaboration with SSA’s Office of Hearings Operations (OHO)

    This article explains how you can promote SOAR with your Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) office to help ease their backlog and workload issues, while at the same time, improving access to expedited decisions for SOAR applicants.

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    Article
  • ALJ Hearings: Prehearing and On the Record (OTR) Reviews

    Under certain circumstances, the SOAR representative can request that a case be referred back to DDS for a Prehearing Review or that the Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) make an On-the Record (OTR) decision prior to an ALJ Hearing. As well, when OHO feels they can make a fully favorable decision without holding a hearing, they can independently refer a case back to DDS and/or make an (OTR) decision.

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    Article
  • Appointed Representative Services (ARS)

    Online access to SOAR applicants’ electronic folders or eFolders (EFs) is now available for Appointed Representatives with ALJ hearing and Appeals Council level cases.

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    Article
  • Opening an Encrypted SSA CD-ROM

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps all new disability files in electronic format. Applicants and authorized representatives have the right to obtain relevant application information on a CD-ROM. When you are preparing to appeal a denial of disability benefits, you should request the case file so that you can review key components of the file and decision.

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    Article