After a denial for Social Security disability benefits, you have the right to ask for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Unfortunately, the wait time until the hearing occurs can extend beyond a few months. There are some ways in which you can bypass this wait and receive the benefits you need.
What Is the Average Wait Time?
There are several factors that influence how long your wait is until a judge hears your case. The biggest factor is the current backlog in your particular area. For instance, the average wait time in Baltimore in April 2015 was 18 months. However, in Springfield, Massachusetts, the wait time was nine months.
What Can You Do to Get a Faster Decision?
Depending on your circumstances, there are several options available for expediting the decision process. For instance, the Social Security Administration maintains a list of illnesses that qualify for compassionate allowance. In other words, your application is expedited because you have one of the diseases that usually meets the requirements for benefits. To request a decision based on this, you need to provide the agency with medical proof of your disease.
You could also ask that your case be decided through an on-the-record review. In this instance, you would need to send in all the required evidence to support your need for disability and a judge would make a decision without actually requiring the hearing. Evidence to support your claim would include your medical records, statements from family and co-workers, and a statement from you detailing your disability. If the judge does not decide in your favor, you still have the option of going through with the hearing and presenting more evidence.
The agency also considers requests for expedited reviews that are based on dire need. A dire need situation would be if you could not afford to pay for treatment or if you were unable to pay your bills because your disability prevented you from working. To request a hearing, you need to send a letter to your local SSA office stating what your current situation is and why it warrants a faster decision.
Your Social Security disability attorney can help you determine if there are other methods that could possibly work to get a quicker decision on your case. An experienced attorney like LeCroy Law Firm, PLLC usually knows which methods work best in his or her particular area and can help you take advantage of those if you meet the criteria.Share