How long is the wait for a social security hearing for disability
How long is the wait for a disability hearing? It can vary tremendously, depending on which part of the country you live in and this is due to differences in backlogs among the various hearings offices. In many areas, from the time the hearing request has been submitted until the time that an actual hearing date is granted, it may easily take twelve months or longer. And if the hearing office that serves your geographic location is especially bogged down, it may take as long as 18 to 24 months to get your disability hearing scheduled (according to one prominent attorney in the state of Mississippi, hearing requests in that state are stretching out to two and a a half years, which is a travesty).
Obviously, having to wait so long to simply get to the second appeal step in the SSA disability system places an incredible burden on claimants. And this is, in fact, where many individuals who have filed for disability benefits begin to experience the
What accounts for the horrendous disability claim backlogs? There are different aspects to the answer (including the productivity of different hearings offices), of course, but, fundamentally, the problem is: the social security administration has not allocated the necessary resources to A. keep the backlogs from growing and B. reduce the backlogs and the amount of time that claimants are forced to wait for hearings.
However, is it fair to blame the social security administration or its management? Ultimately, no, because the SSA budget is controlled by Congress.
Is it possible to speed up a hearing request? In some cases, this may be possible if a claimant has a dire need for an expedited hearing, such as an inability to maintain their residence or obtain needed medications.
How do you request an expedited hearing based on dire need? You can submit this type of request to the hearing office where your hearing request is pending, either directly or through an attorney if you have one. And, it may be more practical to send the request directly to the attention of the hearing office director so you may wish to obtain this individual's name beforehand.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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