Social Security

Social Security was created in the 1930s as a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement. Today, it also includes disability benefits, Medicare and Supplemental Security Income. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is charged with handling these important federal programs. Visit the SSA website to learn more about the agency.

My office can help you with Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Please contact my office for assistance with any questions or problems you may have.

The Privacy Act of 1974 requires that Members of Congress and their staff have written authorization before they can obtain information about an individual's case. Therefore, a consent form must be completed before we proceed with your issue. You can download the form here.

Do you want to know if you qualify for disability and SSI?

Use Social Security's Screening Tool (BEST) to check if you do.

Do you have other general questions about social security services and benefits?

Find an answer on the Social Security Administration's Answers to Your Questions page.

If I am unhappy with a decision made by the Social Security Administration, can Congressman Larsen help me?

If you are dissatisfied with a decision made by the Social Security Administration, my office can help you in understanding your options, determining the reason for the denial and seeking an appropriate review of your case. However, the SSA has the sole authority to make decisions regarding disability, retirement, and SSI benefits (and any other program that the SSA administers).

If you wish to appeal, make your request in writing to the SSA within 60 days from the date you receive a letter from SSA stating its decision. The SSA will assume that you received the letter five days after the date on the letter. You should contact your local SSA office directly to request an application to file an appeal. You can find the nearest SSA office by going to the Social Security Office locator website.

There are four levels of appeals. The appeals are (1) reconsideration, (2) a hearing by an administrative law judge, (3) a review by the Social Security Appeals Council, and (4) a federal court review. A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. It is important to present any old evidence, as well as any new evidence that you may have that supports your claim. The more information the person has when reviewing your claim the less likely it is that a mistake will be made.

If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, you may then ask for a hearing. The hearing will be conducted by an administrative law judge who had no part in the first decision or the reconsideration. Most people hire an attorney to help them with the administrative law judge hearing process. If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may ask for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review, but it may deny a request if it believes the hearing decision was correct. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review. If you disagree with the Appeals Council decision or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, you may file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

Contact a Local Social Security Office

To locate a Social Security office near you, please call 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security website.