Do You Know Your Social Security ABCs?

Do You Know Your Social Security ABCs?

Like many areas of business and the government, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has its own special lingo and frequently uses acronyms in their communication with a claimant during the claims process. Understanding the language will help you navigate through SSA’s rules and regulations when filing for disability benefits. Below is a list of commonly used acronyms to know when applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income:

  • ALJ – Administrative Law Judge
    An independent judge is assigned to review your file, listen to your testimony and decide on your claim following a request for hearing.
  • AOD – Alleged Onset Date
    This is the date in which you feel you became disabled.
  • CE – Consultative Exam
    A consultative exam or test called for when your current medical information is considered insufficient by the SSA in deciding your outcome.
  • COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment
    In order to keep up with inflation, Social Security may increase by a small percentage each year. This is known as a cost of living adjustment.
  • DDS – Disability Determination Section
    State Agencies funded by the Federal Government whose purpose is to make disability findings for SSA at the initial and reconsideration levels of a disability claim.
  • DIB – Disability Insurance Benefits
    One of the two disability programs housed under the Social Security Administration office. This is also known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Title II benefits. This program requires a claimant to have obtained enough work credits to have gained an insured status.
  • DLI – Date Last Insured
    Your date last insured is when your work credits expire. In order to be eligible to receive DIB, you must prove that your disability started before your date last insured.
  • ME – Medical Expert
    Helps the ALJ understand your medical records. He or she may also give testimony at your hearing regarding what he or she feels you can and can’t do following a complete review of your medical records.
  • OHO – Office of Hearing Operations
    When you file a request for hearing, your claim file is sent to this office. It’s the office where the ALJs work, also known as the hearing’s office.
  • PIA – Primary Insurance Amount
    This is the amount of money you would receive each month if approved for DIB.
  • SGA – Substantial Gainful Activity
    SGA is work that brings in over a certain dollar amount per month. In 2019, that amount is $1,220 for non-blind disability applicants and $2,040 for blind applicants. If you are working and earning over those amounts, SSA will not consider you disabled.
  • SSI – Supplemental Security Income
    SSI is a needs-based disability program. You must be found medically disabled by the Social Security Administration, but you also must meet strict income limitations in order to receive SSI benefits.
  • VE – Vocational Expert
    An expert witness called by SSA to testify at your hearing. The VE knows about job availability and skills needed to perform certain jobs.

Visit SSA acronyms, for a complete list.

Here at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we have been speaking the SSA lingo for over 25 years, and we take great pride in helping our clients get the benefits they deserve.  If you’d like to know more about our services, or if you’d like to sign up a free consultation, call us today at 877-526-3457. If you can’t talk now, fill out this form so we can call you at a better time.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law