How do you speed the SSI process, especially if you have financial problems?

If your case is at the hearing level, you could have your rep-attorney send a dire need request to the hearing office to hopefully expedite the scheduling of the hearing. To qualify for this, you generally have to show that you have dire need (unable to pay rent or mortgate, pay utilities, etc) and this will mean showing dcoumentation to prove this.

The purpose of a dire need request is not to get an approval on a case. That doesn't happen with dire need situations. The purpose here is simply to get a disability hearing scheduled faster than it would ordinarily take (sometimes between one and two years).

If the case is at a lower level (application or reconsideration appeal, you might want to contact a congressman or senator and have them do a "congressional inquiry". That can sometimes help move the case a bit faster.

If you or your attorney believe that the case is particularly strong and that the disability examiner made a bad decision (possibly by not gathering all your records, or by evaluating them properly), or you think that since you were last denied your condition has significantly worsened, you may wish to subject a request for an on-the-record review to the hearing office, assuming your case is at the hearing office.

What is this? It basically means that a judge can review the case and approve it without the need for actually holding a hearing. Such requests are only made by attorneys working on disability claims versus unrepresented claimants.

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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