Note: The SSDI, SSI disability system is federal and nationally standardized, though there are state…
Note: The SSDI, SSI disability system is federal and nationally standardized, though there are state differences in approval rates, wait times, the number of appeals available–as of the time of this writing–and even the name given to the stage disability agency (DDS, or the Bureau or Division of Disability Determination). Now, to answer the question…
This is usually the case for the majority of individuals who are turned down at the disability application level in North Carolina.
For these individuals–please recall that 70% of initial claims are denied–the best route to take will be to file a request for reconsideration and, if that first appeal is denied, then to request a hearing before an ALJ, or administrative law judge, at one of the hearing offices in NC.
Getting a hearing scheduled may take a year or longer, based on current levels of backlogs, and one can see that this is an arduous process for most individuals, simply because this represents yet another year without a source of income.
This is exactly why, whenever possible, the disability representative who is providing representation on a case will attempt to get what is known as an on-the-record review of the case.
What is this? This is a situation that develops when the disability representative has a) reviewed the claimant’s prior disability file, b) has usually obtained additional medical evidence, sometimes including a qualified statement from the claimant’s treating physician, and, c) after reviewing the totality of the evidence has determined that it is strong enough that a judge should be able to approve the case without the need of going through a hearing.
A request for a review of this type is normally sent to the hearing office director, such as the hearing office director for the Raleigh office of disability adjudication and review (ODAR), which is a long way of saying “the Raleigh hearing office”.
There is no guarantee that the review will be granted. And, also as well, there is no guarantee that if the review is granted and conducted that the judge will decide to approve the case. If not, then the hearing will simply take place at some point as it normally would have anyway.