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Why Does it Take A pair of Years to Finally Have a Disability Hearing?

Nationwide, on average, it can take one to 2 years to be due for a disability hearing. Factor in the time it takes to obtain a decision on a preliminary disability application, thus time it takes to receive a choice on a very first appeal (request for reconsideration), and the simple fact is that most people who file for disability benefits, either SSI or SSD, won’t see any kind of financial relief for aproximatelly 3 years (if they’re approved at all).

Most initial applications, about seventy %, are denied. And the majority of reconsideration appeals, aproximatelly 80 percent, are denied as well. For those that file a second appeal (a request for a hearing), the odds of approval have much better, as federal disability judges overturn more than half of all the denials given by DDS.

Nevertheless, due to an enormous increase in the number of disability claims being filed every year, the wait to be seen before a federal administrative law judge (ALJ) just keeps getting longer. As ODAR Office Locator and the national unemployment rate will continue to rise, it’s very likely that backlogs within Social Security hearing offices will surely worsen.


Part of the problem lies within the Social Security perseverance procedure itself. Disability examiners within DDS function in a strategy that keeps approval rates low and out of sync with the majority of the system, so many situations that can and should be authorized at lower levels of consideration are not, which just adds to the concern on federal administrative law judges who, ultimately, approve the assertions anyway. Also, some ALJs are more successful compared to others, and unlike disability benefits investigators, who confront regular performance reviews, they are under no pressure to operate fairly quickly or even even properly. Judges do not ought to decide any specific number of statements each year or month, and yes it may be argued that some use this loss of accountability.

But by and large the greatest contributing factor to the lengthy wait for those attempting to be Social Security disability hearings is the fact that, despite the increase in how many assertions getting filed, Social Security has not hired substantially more individuals to simply help process these claims. Disability examiners who retire are not replaced, so the business tasks on the examiners which continue to be used with DDS just goes on to pile up. Furthermore, there’s been no hard work to hire more ALJs, thus no work to employ more support staff possibly within DDS or even work of disability adjudication and review (ODAR). In short, every person working for Social Security has more efforts to do, and less support to accomplish it.

Instead, under the stewardship of Joanne Barnhart, a prior commissioner of the Social Security Administration, applications like the disability service development initiative (dsi) and The hearing process development first step (HPI) squandered what limited time and information the SSA had at its fingertips. Silly sleight of hands tricks, like having hearing office clerks serve as floaters among a pool of disability judges as an alternative to being given to one judge, only made folks within ODAR less responsible for their work output no one was held responsible for the advancement of any specific claim, no one needed to stay around to cope with their own mistakes, and, not surprisingly, not enough have done.

Both programs were unsuccessful, basically smokescreens that masked the real issue like virtually each and every government agency, Social Security is poorly run, and someone needs to step as much as the plate and possibly lobby Congress for much more funding or perhaps overhaul the program totally so that it operates efficiently.

Not a popular stance in today’s economy, but the only real solution. Until political figures and bureaucrats are ready to cease schmoozing for votes and price head on with the quagmire of the Social Security disability system, the wait to be read before a disability judge is only going to continue to increase.


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