Waiting for your Social Security Disability Hearing isn’t easy. Many claimants have no source of income while they are waiting. It is hard to understand why it takes so long. The basic problem is that a lot of bad decisions about disability are made on the initial application, and there are therefore a lot of appeals.
How Long Will I Have To Wait for a Social Security Hearing
Waiting times vary throughout the country. The Johnstown Pennsylvania hearing office (serving Blair, Bedford, Centre & Huntingdon, among other counties) has been taking over a year to schedule a hearing (as of 2016). This is a significant increase in the waiting time, as compared to past years. The problems they face include the number of cases they must decide, which has increased due to the expansion of the area served by this office, and a shortage of staff.
Can I Ask For A Faster Decision In My Social Security Case?
What can be done to speed up the process? Aside from obtaining and submitting the necessary medical records and reports, most claimants have to wait in line. There are a couple of exceptions, however:
● Some social security disability cases can be decided “on the record.” This means that they will issue a favorable decision without holding a hearing. The cases for which this is possible are those where the medical and legal issues are clear, and no testimony is needed. Your attorney can submit a request for this type of decision.
● Hearings can be expedited when there is a dire need situation, when a person has insufficient income or resources to meet an immediate threat to health or safety, such as the lack of food, clothing, shelter or medical care. These requests aren’t granted very often, and require documentation of a specific and immediate problem.
● Veterans injured while on active duty may also have their cases expedited.