Can I get my Social Security Disability Hearing Request Expedited, Speeded up?

In some situations, this may be possible. Keep in mind, however, that each hearing office will typically only expedite a claim if a claimant can demonstrate a level of dire need. Also keep in mind that since the length of time it takes to get to a disability hearing for SSD or SSI benefits has become much much longer in recent years. Disability hearing offices now routinely receive many more requests for expedites based on dire than they previously did. This, of course, makes it much more difficult to grant anyone an expedite except in fairly extreme circumstances.

How long does a hearing request take?

Well over a decade ago, many hearing office jurisdictions might have been able to get a hearing scheduled within five months of receiving a hearing request from the claimant or their social security lawyer. That wait is now over a year at nearly every hearing office in the country.

If you choose to try to get your hearing request speeded up, however, you will need to demonstrate that one of the following situations applies to your particular case: that your physical condition has worsened to the point that you are now terminally ill; that your mental condition has deteriorated to the point where you are now having suicidal ideations (meaning you are now suicidal); that you are about to lose possession of your residence, either through foreclosure or eviction notices; that you are about to lose your ability to obtain prescribed medication that is essential to maintaining your physical or mental condition.

Why would a hearing office consider any one of these reasons for potentially getting a social security hearing scheduled quicker?

In the case of terminal illness, SSA (the social security administration) generally attempts to place a higher standard on getting the case processed more quickly. In fact, when cases are at the application level and can be identified as involving a person with a terminal illness, or as one involving a non-life threatening but particularly severe condition, the case may be marked as a "TERI" case or a "compassionate allowance" case. In either situation, applying one of these labels to the claim would result in much quicker processing.

In the case of an individual losing their place of residence or their access to needed medicines, this is simply a subjective value judgement that the social security administration has made; in other words, the position of the agency is that individuals with such severe need should not have to endure the full length of what is ordinarily the waiting period for a hearing if enduring that wait will have an injurious effect on their condition or living circumstances.

Demonstrating Dire Need

Continued at: Speeding up the Request for a Social Security Hearing - Documentation that is needed

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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