Unfortunately, the Orlando Sentinel reported this week what I have been telling my clients for over a year: there are not enough judges and the final hearing will be years away. Typically, my clients file their initial claim and a decision is given from the social security administration in a few months. If denied, you have 60 days to file a reconsideration. If the reconsideration is denied, I will file an appeal within 60 days and within one year we will have a trial date(final hearing). This has changed and you will not see the judge for two or more years.
The Orlando Sentinel stated that the burden of our aging population and the lack of judges are the problems. This could be fixed by more money for additional judges. The Bush administration would not appropriate more funds for additional judges so our problem will remain for years. I urge everyone to contact their congressional representatives and ask for more funding for the social security judges and clear the backload of cases.
My office has decided to approach these cases differently. We try to get the doctor’s opinions prior to the initial filing and get the case organized for the initial reviewer. You cannot hope the administration will get what it needs initially and rule correctly. These cases need to be fought on the front end not the back end.