One of the first questions usually asked by our clients is how long it will take for them to get their disability. Normally, there is a three-step process involved whether the claim is for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD).
The first step to the three-step process for a Social Security claim is the initial application. If the claim is denied after the initial application, the disabled person can request for reconsideration. The case is then reevaluated, which most times, is done by a state agency who is under contract with the Social Security Administration.
If the claim is not granted during one of the first two stages, a hearing can be requested which is subsequently set in front of a federal administrative law judge from one of the regional hearing offices situated throughout the United States. Unfortunately, there is quite a wait in order to get a hearing.
The most recent statistical information, which is from December 2015, indicated that the average processing time once a claim is at the hearing level will vary from a low of 313 days for the hearing office at Fort Smith, Arkansas to a maximum of 755 days in Brooklyn, New York. The St. Louis hearing office has a processing time of 539 days while the Creve Coeur office as a processing time of 527 days. The processing time for Peoria, IL is 455 days and in Evansville, Indiana it takes 467 days to process a claim.
The offices to handle the hearings are in charge of a geographical area which usually takes in surrounding counties. The hearing offices themselves are called Offices of Decisions Adjudication and Review or by their acronym ODAR for short.
These wait times are often very hard on our clients and we do what we can to expedite hearings when possible. Hearings are usually capable of being expedited when undue hardship can be shown by the claimant, when the medical issue is clear-cut in nature, or when the applicant is of advanced age.
At our law office we carefully evaluate claims and expedite them every chance we get. However, we are very conscious of the fact that many claims should not be expedited because the medical records may not have developed through a stage that will allow for a high likelihood of success. In other words, we do not sacrifice quality for speed when we are not sure of the outcome.
If you would like to discuss your particular claim of our office be more than happy to answer your questions and there is no cost for consultation. As always, we do not require clients to pay any money up front and all fees are limited to a percentage (25%) of your back pay, if any. Give us a call for FREE CONSULTATION at (800) 842-0426.