Will Social Security respond to a dire need letter?

Will Social Security respond to a dire need letter?

Question: Does Social Security usually respond back to Dire Need letters?

The component of the agency that would normally have anything to do with a dire need request would be the hearing office. I am a former disability examiner and to my knowledge, dire need letters got no action whatsoever at the level of an application for disability, or a request for reconsideration appeal.

A dire need can have an impact, however, on getting a hearing date scheduled sooner than might otherwise be the case. Note: this has nothing to do with the decision, just getting the hearing date sooner.

Will you hear anything? If you are the claimant, and your disability representative or disability lawyer has submitted a dire need letter to the hearing office, you won't necessarily hear anything back at all unless the scheduling of your hearing is actually expedited based on dire need, which usually involves an emergency situation such as imminent loss of housing or utilities.

Now, why does a dire need letter have no impact on an application for disability benefits? Because disability examiners are not waiting on anything other than medical records and sometimes the results of a CE exam, whereas judges have backlogs that are months long just to get cases heard.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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