SSA Disability Program and “The Educated Consumer”


I am frequently asked why I provide “free” advertising on my web-site for other disability advocates and individuals who otherwise sell Social Security goods and services.

The reason is simple: The Ponder Media Group (TPMG) offers unique up-to-date services and products to the general public that have proven to be effective in securing early approval of disability claims.

Anyone who watches day-time television and particularly the “court” shows knows first-hand there are literally dozens of groups vying for the opportunity to represent folks in SSA disability cases.

TPMG on the other hand does not seek to represent you. Our goal is to teach an individual the rules of the game and help establish realistic expectations as to the SSA disability program and process.

Since I started TPMG several years ago, I have consistently subscribed to the premise that given in-depth strategic knowledge of how the Social Security Administration operates its disability program, the average consumer is capable of filing and pursuing a disability claim on his own; and, in the process save thousands of dollars in representation fees and years of appeals frustration.

There is finally empirical data available to prove my point!

The Social Security Advisory Board was established by statute in 1994 (Section 703 – 42 U.S.C 903). The SSAB is “an independent board that provides information to the U.S. President and Congress on Social Security matters.” The SSAB is a bi-partisan organization that plays a critical role in the oversight of SSA operations.

In September 2012, the SSAB issued a comprehensive report on disability representation in SSA and the results are telling. The report finds that only 14% of new disability filers are represented at the initial stage; broken down to 9% attorneys and 5% non-attorneys. In other words, 86% of those claims approved at the initial level, were not represented in their submission of the claim to the SSA!!!

There were approximately 3 million new claims filed last year and given an approval rate of approximately 30% percent – about 900,000 claims were approved at the initial level. Given the rate of representation therefore, approximately 800,000 new applicants filed and pursued their favorable claim on their own. This is classic, unequivocal validation of the TPMG do-it-yourself and self-advocacy model.

Expectedly, many of the 800,000 approved applicants had to struggle through document and process research, and navigate the paper-intensive SSA disability program in general. The TPMG project is specifically designed to help an individual short-cut and bypass such trial-and-error efforts, which in turn saves time, fees, and frustration he/she would otherwise have to endure.

You can read the full text of the Social Security Advisory Board’s September 2012 report by visiting its home-page and web-site at, and click on “FILING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS: WHAT IMPACT DOES PROFESSIONAL REPRESENTATION HAVE ON THE PROCESS AT THE INITIAL APPLICATION LEVEL”


Fred Ponder, Founder and CEO

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