FREE CASE REVIEW
Most Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit applicants will face lengthy wait times – not only when trying to schedule their hearing but also while waiting to receive a decision regarding their application for benefits.
|Office||Hearing (months)||Disposition (days)|
Based on these average times, applicants could end up waiting close to two years before even becoming able to schedule an SSD hearing – much less receive answers about whether they were approved for benefits.
However, there are four ways in which a decision may be expedited in a SSD benefits hearing case:
If you are facing a situation in which you could experience extreme financial hardship or ruin while waiting on the SSA’s decision, you may consider writing a financial “dire need” letter to the SSA. The letter could request either an expedited hearing or an on-the-record (OTR) review of your case. You would need to include detailed documentation to support the claim of dire financial need.
As long as you have sufficient medical evidence to prove you have a qualifying disability, you may be able to forgo the hearing wait time by requesting an administrative law judge (ALJ) to review your file and make an on-the-record ruling prior to your hearing. A positive ruling would make the hearing no longer necessary. This could cut your wait time by months or even a year.
The SSA has a program which gives senior attorney adjudicators the authority to issue an OTR decision for SSD benefits. The program was established to help lighten the load and conserve ALJ resources for the more involved, complex cases that may require a hearing. As with an OTR decision from an ALJ, an attorney adjudicator decision can allow you to bypass the hearing process and expedite a decision on your SSD benefits claim.
If you are prepared for your hearing, you can avoid any unnecessary delays. To be properly prepared, you should: