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In case you are wondering if the recent hearing on Capitol Hill regarding the backlog of Social Security Disability cases has had any positive affect, it has not. The wait time for a hearing is close to 2 years. Thousands and thousands of people, including some of our own clients, have died waiting for their cases to be heard, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
We represent a 49 year old former custodian with back and knee problems. In addition to the claimant’s medical records, we submitted her mortgage statement and utilities bill that showed she was seriously in arrears. The claimant’s situation had become dire as she had no income or savings. PSE&G threatened to turn off the claimant’s power, and her mortgage company was threatening to foreclose on her home. Consequently, we asked Social Security to expedite the claimant’s case to prevent her from becoming homeless.
The claimant’s hearing was expedited and scheduled within 75 days, which required waiving the advance notice period. Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Alan Berkowitz held the hearing yesterday. When the hearing was completed, ALJ Berkowitz announced his decision, which ALJs rarely do, approving SSD benefits. Kudos to ALJ Berkowitz for deciding the claimant’s case immediately in recognition of the claimant’s dire need situation. Hopefully, the ALJ will promptly issue a written decision so the claimant can get paid as soon as possible.Previous Next
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