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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
  • SOAR Strategic Planning

    Because SOAR is built on collaborations as well as training, the first step in starting a SOAR program is to bring key stakeholders together to agree upon and establish a SOAR Process and create a SOAR action plan. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center can assist you every step of the way.

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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