Social Security Disability, Waiting for Employment Records
"How about this? When one is approved for Disability over 2 months ago and calls SS to check in then is told they are "waiting for employment records" what exactly does that mean and how long can/does that take? I have received zero benefits because they are "waiting to hear back" (via fax/snail mail) from past/previous employers. (To get salary info from when/where I worked in the past perhaps as long as 5 or 10 years ago.) The Lady at SS on the phone was short-tempered, and told me she had no idea when she would hear back from employers and that I could try and get a hold of them (Yea, doubtful...)"
When I read your post it brings to mind a couple of questions. How do you know that your disability claim was approved? Normally, disability applicants have received no decision if employment records are involved as you described.
The Social Security disability process involves evaluating an applicant's employment history to see if an applicant can return to any of their past work considering their limitations. If the disability examiner finds that the individual cannot go back to any of their previous work, the examiner has to consider if the applicant is able to perform other types of work with their limitations. It is all part of the disability sequential evaluation process. If an individual's residual functional capacity (what an individual can do in spite of their limitations) is so restrictive that it precludes past work and other work, they will be approved for disability.
Perhaps your disability has not yet been approved and they are waiting for some subsidy information from your former employers to see if they can give you an earlier onset of disability date, which could increase your back pay of disability benefits.
Or, if you were approved and worked after you filed for disability, they may be seeking information about that work in an effort to determine if you performed substantial work activity since your disability onset. If you have, there may be a possibility that your disability claim could be reopened to a denial for substantial work activity.
Frankly, there are so many scenarios that could be the answer to your question. The claims representative could have handled it better, but it is true that they do not know when employers will return information. If it takes too long, the representative or examiner will make their determination anyway.
I am not sure that I have answered anything for you. You could simply wait until you get a notice as to what they are going to do in your case. Or, you could call and ask the examiner or representative who is handling your disability claim what employers they need information from. If it is not hard to get the records, you may expedite the processing of your disability claim.
Without further specifics, I cannot say exactly why Social Security wants "employment records". And, there is, of course ,always the off chance that the person with whom you spoke is not familiar with your case and did not really know what was causing the hold up in your benefits.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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