Applying for social security benefits can be a long and overwhelming process. By far, the waiting is the most frustrating for the majority of claimants. Some claimant’s will look to their congressman or state senator to intervene. A congressional inquiry is a “status check” of your disability claim. When the inquiry is received, social security will respond by providing the status of your case. This request can also prompt social security to get cases moving along a much faster pace. Unfortunately, many claimants confuse the purpose of a congressional inquiry.
The inquiry starts by sending a letter to your local senator or representative’s office requesting that they find out more information about your claim. Be sure to include the length of time you’ve been waiting, medical conditions, and the need for the inquiry. Sometimes a case may be in the process of being approved at the time of the inquiry. Understandably, it is assumed that the case was approved due to the inquiry. Disability examiners and judges cannot be influenced to approve a case because of an inquiry.
A congressional inquiry that is submitted at the lower level of the claim has very little influence, if any at all. Disability examiners rely heavily on medical records that describes a claimants functional limitations. The time frame in which disability examiners can come to a decision is based on how fast the medical facilities comply with the request for records.
At the hearing level, if a claimant is experiencing financial hardship, a congressional inquiry can help a case get scheduled a lot faster. Providing evidence of financial hardship is critical when trying to get a sooner hearing date.