According to the Social Security Administration, it can take three to five months for the agency to review your application for disability benefits and make a decision. Unfortunately, if you are not working or in serious need of medical assistance, those months can seem too long. Regardless of whether this is your first time applying or you are appealing a denial, there are steps you can take to reduce the wait time.
Contact Your Congressperson
Your representative cannot request specific information about your claim, but he or she can ask the agency to review your case sooner, rather than later. He or she can impress upon the agency the urgency of the situation. As a result, the agency might be willing to expedite the processing of your application.
Request an ALJ Review
An administrative law judge, or ALJ, can review your case and make a determination if requested. An ALJ review is only possible if you have submitted all of the documentation and evidence needed to support your claim. You can request the review by contacting the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, or ODAR.
An ALJ review is only available if you have been previously denied for benefits. Once the request is received by the ODAR, the judge will review the evidence submitted and make a decision. You should receive written notification of the judge's decision. In the event that your application is denied, you can still request a formal hearing with the judge.
Notify SSA of a Terminal Illness
The Social Security Administration, or SSA, does allow expedited reviews for claims involving people with terminal illnesses. If you do have a terminal illness, contact the SSA and inform the caseworker reviewing your case of your condition. You will need to provide documentation to the agency of your condition.
Cite Dire Need
In some cases, the SSA is willing to move up the process of reviewing applications due to dire need. For instance, if you are unable to pay for the medical care you need, the agency could expedite the processing of your claim. In order to qualify for expedited processing based on dire need, you need to contact the ODAR near you and inform the agency of your status.
There are other methods that could possibly be used to speed up the claims process. Work with an experienced disability attorney to find the method that will work best for your particular case.
To learn more about disability claims, contact someone like Bruce K Billman.