When You Disagree With The SSA And Want To Appeal
You’ve been waiting so long to get your Social Security Disability claim approved and you find out your claim has been denied. You’re disappointed, as you have already waited many months to get a decision. So what happens next?
If you wish to pursue the case further, you should file an appeal. An appeal means you will need to fight your case in a hearing with an administrative law judge. Hearings are currently done online or via telephone due to COVID restrictions. However, don’t expect a quick turnaround.
Starting from the day you file the paperwork for the appeal, you can expect, on average, a nine-month wait. However, there are 168 Social Security hearing offices in the country, so your regional office may be faster or slower. Plus, a hearing is the second step in the appeal, so it could take several months just to get to that step.
The first step is a disability reconsideration. What this means is that the Social Security Administration will take a second look at your claim. A different disability examiner and medical team will take a look at your entire claim, including any new evidence, such as medical exams or procedures. A disability reconsideration takes 3-4 months, on average.
In most cases, the reconsideration will not change anything. Your claim will likely still be denied. You will then have 60 days to request a hearing. You will receive written notice of a scheduled hearing at least 75 days in advance. At the hearing, an administrative law judge will review the evidence and listen to your testimony.
Backlogs But Good News
The Social Security Administration is dealing with a backlog. The agency receives hundreds of thousands of requests for hearings every year. On top of that, the appeals system has around 1,350 judges who have to review the paperwork before the cases can even be heard.
Judges are expected to make at least 500 rulings a year. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. What happens in a particular office will depend on its volume of cases.
The Social Security Administration is trying to even out the number of cases for each office. Also, better technology and additional funding has helped the backlog in recent years, reducing that and the waiting period. Four years ago, the backlog was at 1.1 million cases. As of fiscal year 2020, that backlog has reduced to approximately 418,000 cases. In September 2017, the wait time for a hearing averaged at 19 months. It is now at nine months, dropped by more than half.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
It can take many months to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits. Having a lawyer on your side can hasten the process.
White Plains Social Security disability lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon will help you get your benefits approved as quickly as possible. There are your options if your need is dire. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling 914-294-2145.