When I clerked for the United States Federal Magistrate, one of the things I did was evaluate Social Security Appeals for to the District Court. To commence a social security case you first should first file an application for benefits either in person at your local office in Longview, Tyler or Palestine or online at www.ssa.org. There are essentially two (2) programs administered by the Social Security Administration: retirement and disability. Disability is further divided into two (2) distinct programs: social security disability and supplemental security income. The initial question in both programs of disability is the same: is the person disabled? If so, the benefit is determined by the amount of past work and if you do not have sufficient past work then you benefit is needs based. The steps in a social security case proceed along this path: Initial Application, Request for Reconsideration, Request for Hearing Before Administrative Law Judge, Appeals Council Review and finally Federal Court review. The earlier we get involved the better chance to have a favorable outcome. You can assist your case by making two (2) lists with as much detail as possible: First, each and every place you have worked and second, each and every person or place where you received medical attention or treatment. This information will be critical in gathering the information necessary to evaluate your case and document it for the Social Security Administration.