One of the biggest problems with the Social Security Disability process is the amount of time it takes. The initial determination usually takes about 6 months. The decision is made by a disability analyst who is not a doctor and who ignores what the treating doctor says, so the decision is normally unfavorable. The next step here after a denial is waiting for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Unfortunately, according to government statistics, the wait for a hearing is usually about 1 1/2 to 2 years. Nonetheless, I have been able to take steps to shorten the wait for a hearing.
When a client of mine has been scheduled for a hearing, and a request for an on the record decision has been rejected, I institute Congressional Inquiries. The grounds for an inquiry vary, but it seems to be the one mechanism that hearing offices recognize for expediting a hearing.
Yesterday, I had a hearing for client who could no longer work because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Because I commenced a Congressional Inquiry, the hearing was scheduled only a couple of months after the initial denial. Moreover, the judge approved the application on the record during the hearing and issued a Bench Decision. Typically, even if a judge tells a claimant that the application will be approved, it may still take months to get a written decision. The Bench Decision avoids that delay.Previous Next
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