What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Where are Social Security Disability and SSI hearings held?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Disability hearings are held at what was once known as OHA, the office of hearings and appeals. OHA itself hasn't changed, but the name is now ODAR, the office of adjudication and review.
The hearing office is where your case is transferred to after you or your disability lawyer file a formal "request for hearing before an administrative law judge". The request is actually sent to the social security office. There the request is processed so that the case can be transferred to the hearing office.
Once the case is at the hearing office, a claimant will usually (though not always) receive a notice of acknowledgement to let them know that the case has been transferred. At that point, what usually happens is...quite a bit of waiting for the case to be prepared and the hearing to be scheduled.
Long waits exist for the scheduling of hearings because of significant backlogs in the claim system. In the year 2000 and earlier, after a request for a disability hearing had been sent in, it could take as little as five months to get a hearing assigned to an administrative law judge and scheduled. These days, due to backlogs, it can sometimes take over two years to get a hearing date.
Will you have any advance notice that the hearing date is approaching? Possibly. Not all hearing offices prepare an exhibit list, which is a compilation of everything that is in a claimant's file. However, those that do will typically send a copy of the list to the attorney of record (assuming a claimant has a disability attorney handling his or her claim). When the attorney receives a copy of the exhibit list, this is an indication that the case is getting closer to being scheduled.
Will your disability hearing be scheduled close to where you live? Possibly, though claimants have, in the past, been required to drive significantly from end of their state to the next to get to a hearing office. It is for this reason that the social security administration began to make video hearings available.
Note: if you are scheduled for a video hearing, you have the right to decline and have a face-to-face hearing. Just keep in mind that declining a video hearing in favor of a standard hearing may slow down your case.
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Topics and Questions
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials