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

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

If you have a dire need and are seeking to speed up your request for a social security hearing, this will be need to be substantiated.

As an example, in the past I have submitted copies of eviction letters to the director of a hearing office along with a letter indicating that the claimant was in clear and imminent danger of being evicted from their rented home and becoming homeless. If the situation involved the foreclosure of a home, a similar letter would be sent, also with the appropriate documentation.

In cases involving the loss of access to needed medication, a letter to a hearing office director may also be sent and it may be particularly helpful to attach a statement from the claimant's treating physician which articulates why the medication is needed and what the adverse effects of not taking the medication might be.

Dire need situations must always be substantiated, usually through documentation. Therefore, a claimant whose situation is edging toward dire need should keep whatever notices they have received that will serve to document this, such as letters from mortgage companies, landlords, and health insurance companies that are, for whatever reason, discontinuing coverage.

In cases where a claimant's condition is seriously degenerating, or the claimant is becoming suicidal, once again a statement from the treating physician (which could include the claimant's family doctor, or medical specialist, or psychiatrist, depending on the condition) will be helpful. As has been mentioned on this site before, federal administrative law judges are particularly attentive to the qualified opinions submitted by physicians who have an established history of providing treatment to a claimant.

Sending the Request for an Expedited Disability Hearing

A request to speed up, or expedite, a disability hearing will often go to a hearing office director. But in many situations, it will simply be sent to the hearing office director because the case has not yet been assigned to a specific ALJ (administrative law judge).

For those who are unaware, after a "request for hearing before an administrative law judge" has been submitted to a social security office, it is transferred to the hearing office (ODAR, office of disability adjudication and review) that has jurisdiction for the area. At the hearing office, it may actually take months before the case is assigned to an ALJ.

However, if the case has been assigned to a judge, the claimant, or the claimant's attorney can submit their dire need request for an expedited disability hearing to that judge. And whether or not the request will be honored and the scheduling speeded up will depend on the facts that are presented.

Speeding up a disability hearing is more difficult now than was the case ten years ago, simply due to how many claims are being filed and how many cases are backlogged at the various hearings offices across the country.

This fact, however, should not dissuade the individual who has a sincere and legitimate need for an expedite to at least try speeding things up. The claimant who is experiencing a potential loss of their residence, or needed medications, or whose condition has worsened to a dangerous level should immediately contact their designated disability representative (a disability attorney or non-attorney advocate) to inquire into initiating a dire need request.

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.

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

Average time to get disability North Carolina
How can you speed up a Social Security Disability case?
Dire Need and Getting a Social Security Disability or SSI Case Speeded Up
Speeding up the Request for a Social Security Hearing - Documentation that is needed
Getting your medical records can help speed up your disability case
Can I get my Social Security Disability Hearing Request Expedited, Speeded up?
The Time Involved on a Social Security Disability Decision
Denied at disability hearing and filed appeal with appeals council
Can a Lawyer Speed Up My Disability Case?
What Are The Odds of Winning A Social Security Disability Appeal?
Can a Congressional Inquiry Really Help to speed up Your Disability Case?
Deadline to file request for disability hearing
Social Security Disability For Back Condition pain in California
How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
Disability requirements and criteria in California