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Patient Advocate Foundation
Phone: (800) 532-5274
Fax: (757) 873-8999
Home > Patient Services > Case Management > The Disability Process

How PAF Assists Patients with the Disability Process

The case manager educates patients about the disability process and assists patients with applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The case manager will contact Social Security (1-800-772-1213) to set up a telephone interview or schedule an office appointment with a Social Security Administration (SSA) Representative. You can also apply for disability benefits online at

When a patient contacts PAF about a SSA claim, PAF can help the patient access claim status and, depending on the patient's medical condition, expedite the claim.

The first step in applying for Social Security Disability benefits is the initial claim; if denied, the next step is a Request for Reconsideration. When SSA sends a denial of claim decision letter to the patient, the patient should respond by appealing the decision. The appeal form that must be submitted for the initial claim is the Request for Reconsideration. If the claim is denied for a second time, then the patient must submit a Request for Hearing appeal form. These forms should be submitted in a timely manner following each denial of claim.

PAF case managers help the patient understand the process, including the importance of the completeness of their SSA file's medical information. The content of the patient's file can make a difference in the disability decision. If the patient is not represented by an attorney, PAF can get assist with preparation of the file for SSA determination.