Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
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Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Can attorneys get SSDI and SSI cases to the Administrative Law Judge faster?

If you do not have an attorney at this level of the Social Security disability process, it would be wise to consider obtaining the services of a competent representative. Attorneys and Social Security representatives can help your chances of being approved and they may help you get an administrative law judge decision without a hearing.

If you are submitting a Request for an Administrative Law Judge Hearing appeal, your representative could ask the judge to consider making an OTR decision. OTR simply means an “on the record decision”. In this scenario, your representative will create a concise, detailed brief in accordance with Social Security guidelines to present their arguments as to why you should be approved for disability benefits.

In addition to creating the brief, they will also obtain any new medical records and perhaps a statement from your treating physician to answer any questions the judge might have that are not answered in the medical records.

You should consider the fact that doctors write their notes for themselves and not for disability decisions, and, therefore, additional statements are helpful to not only clarify the medical records but to answer questions specific to the Social Security disability determination process.

Lastly, your disability representative will create a proposed medical disability decision that may be an approved by the judge as written, or they may remain in contact with the adjudicator to provide other information, or to negotiate other aspects of your disability claim such as an amended onset of disability.

In the end, if the judge approves your disability claim with an OTR decision, you are potentially saving months or even years of wait time for a hearing. If your request for an OTR decision is denied, your disability claim will be sent for a hearing. Your representative may still be able to get you to the administrative law judge sooner. If your disability claim involves SSI and you are in dire financial straights, your representative can write a dire need letter to expedite the scheduling of your hearing. The dire need letter alone will not suffice; you should submit final notices, foreclosure notices, and eviction notices with the request. If dire need is established, your disability claim could be scheduled for a disability hearing expeditiously.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

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  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

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    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

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