How can I expedite my Social Security Disability hearing?
Working Americans will spend years paying into the Social Security system so that they are protected in the event of a serious injury or illness and find themselves unable to work. However, many more Americans are shocked when they find they apply for Social Security benefits to help them in their time of need and their claims are delayed or denied. Our NYC Social Security Disability lawyers discuss some alarming data that shows SSD applicants are dying before they ever get a hearing and what you can do to speed up your claim.
Wait Times for SSD Hearings Are Up
Data from the Social Security Administration reveals that since 2011, over 2,000 claimants across the country have died waiting for their claim to be handled. Regionally, areas across the nation are experiencing longer wait times for hearings. Many offices have a backlog of cases. The SSA received additional federal funding in an attempt to reduce the backlog and new administrative law judges were hired, but the struggle to address claimants continues. It is thought that much of the backlog exists due to a large number of aging baby boomers who are reaching an age where applying for SSA benefits becomes more common.
Expediting Your SSA Claim
When you have experienced a serious injury or illness that prevents you from working, time is of the essence. Your finances will likely be suffering and you may find yourself struggling to get by. There are some steps you can take to help prevent delays and perhaps speed up the processing of your claim. Consider the following:
- Be sure to fill out your application completely: Social Security Disability applications are lengthy and can be confusing. If you accidentally omit or input conflicting information within your SSD application, it can delay the processing of your claim. Accordingly, take your time and fill out the application thoroughly and accurately.
- Submit your medical evidence directly to the SSD: Your disability examiner will need your full medical records to make an accurate determination on your claim. The quickest way to make sure your examiner has your records is to obtain your medical records on your own and submit them directly to the SSA or DDS.
- Consider whether you meet an exception: There are certain special circumstances that could get you a faster hearing. If your financial situation is severe, you may be able to receive a dire need expedited review. You could also consider an on-the-record review, in which your file will be reviewed before your hearing date. You will need to consult with an attorney before taking this option, as it is not the best option for every claimant.
Do not delay in filing your SSD claim. Contact an SSD claims attorney to help seek the SSD benefits you deserve as soon as possible.