When a Social Security Disability applicants’ initial SSD claims and reconsideration reviews have been denied, it can feel like there is little hope for obtaining SSDI benefits. Though the appeals process can provide these applicants with additional avenues to pursue, often applicants have difficulty waiting for a disability hearing to be scheduled due to a financial or medical hardship. This is because after a request for a hearing has been made, it can take months to get the hearing date scheduled.

In these cases, asking for a congressional inquiry can provide a helpful boost to a denied applicant’s case. A congressional inquiry is like a status check on your disability application that is made by your local senator or representative on your behalf.

How to initiate a congressional inquiry

If an applicant wishes to initiate a congressional inquiry, he or she first needs to contact his or her local senator or representative’s office to request that the congressperson look into where the applicant’s claim stands in the disability process. When making the request, the applicant should give the congressperson enough information to understand the applicant’s claim and the general circumstances surrounding the applicant’s concerns.

There are many things to consider telling your congressperson when requesting a congressional inquiry. Some of these issues include:

(1) how long you have been involved in the SSDI application process;
(2) how long you have already waited for an appeal hearing to be scheduled;
(3) the number of dependents or family members you are currently supporting;
(4) any stress the disability application has caused you in particular, such as medical, emotional, or financial distress; and
(5) any other reasons that will help explain to your congressperson why you need a congressional inquiry.

What happens after you request a congressional inquiry

If your congressperson accepts your request and takes action on your behalf, he or she will contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to ask for an update on the status of your SSDI claim. The congressperson’s office may call or send a written notice to the SSA to ask for the update. The SSA also has specific rules it must follow regarding how to respond to a congressional inquiry . This action may push the SSA to resolve your claim sooner, but such positive results are not guaranteed.

It is very important to remember that while a congressional inquiry may speed up the SSDI application process, it will not impact the SSA’s decision regarding whether or not you are eligible for benefits. A congressional inquiry cannot influence the outcome of an application because that is still entirely dependent on the applicant’s medical records and his or her functional limitations.

While congressional inquiries do not cause SSDI applications to be approved, they do have the ability to get applications moving faster on the road to approval. As a result, asking for a congressional inquiry cannot negatively impact your case and congressional inquiries can be worth pursuing.

Are you wondering what your next steps should be if you have been denied SSDI benefits? Contact our office online or call #(847) 577-4476.