If you’re a disability claimant in upstate South Carolina, you should be aware that CDI investigations are becoming more common. This is a relatively new practice in disability adjudication.
Historically, I used to advise client that they didn’t have to worry about being followed, tailed, investigated or otherwise checked on by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The evidence consisted only of the medical file, whatever information you wanted to submit and your testimony at your hearing.
Increasingly, the SSA is behaving more like an insurance company. They hire investigators, on occasion, to go around and ask people who might know you what your daily activities are like. For example, they will go into stores where you shop and ask clerks if they recognize you. They may then ask the clerk at the store how often you come in, what you buy, how you pay for things, whether you use a can and other similar questions.
Sometimes these investigators will even visit your house, look around and ask questions – under the pretense that they’re there for another purpose.
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Typically, the investigator submits a written report, but they don’t name any of the people they’ve talked to. You get to see the investigator’s written report and you’re allowed to submit written comments, request a supplemental hearing, request an opportunity to question witness and otherwise respond to the report.
If you’ve applied for disability benefits and think you’re being followed or investigated, you should contact a disability lawyer for advice. Once the investigator’s written report comes in, you should decide if it’s productive to have witnesses (who may be hostile towards your disability claim) come in before they judge and explain what they’ve seen.
Certainly, the increased prevalence of these investigations increases the stress and worry for you as a disability claimant and introduces a disturbingly adversarial tone to the proceeding.
If you need help with your disability claim, let the disability attorneys at Don Pilzer Law, PC, help. Contact us today for a free consultation.