Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How long will it take before a judge will see my disability case?

"I was told by my attorneys office today it will probably take at least 2 years before a judge even see's my case...and I will probably get turned down twice prior to that. I have MS and my conditioned has worsened to the point of no longer being able to work, but in two years time I will loose my home and my car if I have no income. I am currently on Short term disability through work which will soon go into my long term disability benefits. Should I get a 2nd opinion from another attorney? I live in Southwest Ohio."

I hate to say it, but the social security attorney may be dead-on. It used to be that it would take 2 years to get a hearing date before an administrative law judge just after the disability hearing request was submitted. Hearing wait times have improved in recent times due to a concerted effort by SSA to reduce backlogs, at the very least to reduce the growth of the backlogs.

Even so, if you are just beginning the process, and have yet to go through the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels, it may well be true that you endure two years in the process. That is, unless you are approved for social security disability or approved for SSI at the disability application level (approximately 30 percent of claims get awarded at that level) or you are approved at the first appeal level, the reconsideration appeal level (about 12-14 percent of these appeals are awarded).

The general rule of thumb is that if you are denied on a initial disability application, you will probably have to pursue the case to the hearing level since the first appeal, the recon, is usually denied as well. It may not hurt to talk to a second attorney, particularly if you can find one that is more "proactive" about trying to get your case won at the reconsideration level, or one who will be willing to try to get your hearing expedited if a hearing request becomes necessary.

Other times, a disability attorney may find it suitable to request an on-the-record decision after the hearing request has been made--- if the case is strong enough. This can eliminate the need for a hearing. If you do have to go a hearing, however, an attorney can submit a brief in the hopes of receiving a bench decision which can eliminate much of the wait for a written decision. These might be some of the things you would discuss with the second, or even the first attorney.

Other Posts

Social Security Disability Qualifications
Qualifying for Disability - How difficult are the Qualifications ?
Who is eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI Disability?
Depression Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability
Social Security Disability Status on a Case
Trying to Win Disability
What does Social Security Disability consider a Mental Impairment?
Social Security Disability Award Letter Following an Approval
Social Security Disability Requirements and Eligibility Criteria
Questions about applying for Social Security Disability or SSI
How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI - How to file
Can you apply for social security disability or ssi if you are working?
The Criteria for Social Security Disability and SSI
How can you improve your chances of winning disability
Tips for Filling out a Social Security Disability Application
Application Requirements For SSI Disability
What do you do if you get denied for Social Security Disability or SSI?
How to File for disability or File for SSI - do it as soon as possible
Social Security Disability SSI Status
SSD, Social Security Disability Benefit Requirements and Work Credits

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