If you have been waiting over five months for your disability hearing to be scheduled, you’re not alone. Most claimants will wait at least six months before they receive a hearing date—and some will wait for a year or longer.
Speading Up Your Disability Hearing
What many claimants don’t know is that it is possible to speed up a Social Security hearing date. Depending on your circumstances, you could receive an expedited hearing in one of the following ways:
- Dire need. Applicants who are experiencing extreme financial hardship may be able to get their hearings scheduled more quickly by sending a dire need letter to the Social Security’s Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR). You must draft a letter explaining why your need is greater than other applicants, and why time is of the essence in your case (for example, if you are about to lose your health insurance, work benefits, housing, or access to medications). Including evidence of your dire need, such as copies of overdue bills or eviction notices, will help strengthen your case.
- Congressional inquiries. Some applicants can expedite the processing of their claims by contacting a local congressperson or senator to request an inquiry into their case. This is a personal appeal, and if it is successful, the congressperson’s staff will contact your local hearing office on your behalf. A congressional inquiry can shave months off of a claimant’s wait time, but only if the congressperson agrees to intervene.
- On-the-record review. If your injury has worsened since your original application date, you may benefit by requesting an on-the-record (OTR) review. This means that you grant the hearing office permission to review your claim instead of waiting for a hearing before a judge. While these approvals are often much faster than waiting for a hearing, your medical evidence must be concretely demonstrate the nature and severity of your condition to be approved.
An Attorney Can Help Expedite Your Claim Review
The wait time for your hearing will largely depend on where you live. Hearing offices may be backed up for months, and even offices in the same state can have drastically different wait times. The Social Security Disability attorneys at Wayne Wright can investigate why your case is taking so long to be approved, and we can explain your best options at no cost to you. Fill out a contact form here to schedule your free consultation.