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  • Co-Occurring Substance Use: Material to Disability?

    How substance use is considered in the disability determination process has changed substantially over the years. This article dispels several widely-held myths about how DDS views substance use (such as you have to be clean and sober to get benefits), and its impact on the application process.

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    Article
  • Prior or Pending Applications

    It is important to find out whether someone has a pending initial claim or is waiting for a reconsideration or an appeals hearing before starting a new application.

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    Article
  • About Appeals

    While we do our best to help eligible individuals get approved on the initial application, sometimes the application is denied and we need to help someone through the appeals process. This article provides an overview of the several levels of appeals and the steps to take to file an appeal.

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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
  • Impact of Increased Income on Housing Voucher Programs

    Increasing income through employment and Social Security disability benefits is critical for maintaining housing stability. However, for individuals utilizing housing vouchers, fear of losing their vouchers often prevents them from exploring employment. To encourage work, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has numerous incentives to protect those returning to work from immediate rent increases and voucher loss.

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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