Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Can a disability attorney speed up my disability case? By What Methods?

If you have representation on your Social security disability or SSI disability claim, your disability attorney can attempt to speed up the scheduling of your case before an administrative law judge, or even eliminating the need for a hearing altogether. Generally, this would only be possible in one of several ways.

1. Requesting an on-the-record review - Getting an approval based on an OTR (on the record) review can eliminate the need for a hearing. An OTR review is requested when your disability attorney believes that the medical evidence supporting your case is very strong (in other words, that there is no question that you should qualify for disability benefits in accordance with the SSA definition of disability based on what your records have to say about your condition).

The request also depends on one of the following: A) Whether or not your condition has significantly worsened since the time that your case was previously denied at the reconsideration appeal level or B) Whether or not your claim was improperly denied by the reconsideration level examiner due to erroneous handling, or a misinterpretation of your medical evidence.

And on-the-record review, of course, will only be requested by your disability attorney if your attorney believes there is very little question that the case is strong enough to be approved without the need for presentation and argument at a formal hearing. Whether or not the request for the review will result in an on-the-record allowance (approval) will depend on the merits of the case and whatever additional material may have been submitted by the disability attorney.

2. Requesting an expedite of the hearing based on dire need - If a claimant is in danger of losing their residence (their rented residence due to eviction or their mortgaged home due to foreclosure), or losing their access to needed medical treatment or prescribed medications, they may be able to request that the hearing office speed up the scheduling of their disability hearing based on this. If a dire need situation exists, a claimant's disability attorney can formally submit the dire need request to either the hearing office director or the administrative law judge if a specific judge has been assigned to the case at the time of the request.

With the dire need request, the disability attorney should attach documentation regarding the claimant's situation (such as a statement from the claimant's treating physician regarding the deteriorating condition or need for prescription medicine, or copies of foreclosure or eviction notices). Sending supporting documentation will substantially improve one's chances of having their hearing expedited. This is especially true considering the fact that, due to current backlogs at the hearing level, the various hearing offices are receiving unprecedented numbers of requests for expedites based on dire need. In other words, sending in a dire need request without documentation regarding the dire need situation may be next to useless.

3. Congressional Inquiry - A claimant, or their disability attorney, can always contact the office of their congressional representative (their district congressman or congresswoman) to have that office conduct a formal inquiry into why it is taking so long to get a hearing scheduled. Congressional inquiries are done at all levels of the disability system. However, at the disability application and request for reconsideration levels, it is generally a waste of time to do this type of inquiry since the inquiry request is generally just put into the claimant's disability file with no discernable effect on the case (which is actually logical since at those levels, the case will simply move at whatever speed it can move regardless of who inquiries into it).

At the hearing level, however, where cases can literally sit for 1-2 years before being scheduled, an inquiry from the office of a congressperson can effectively get a case scheduled many months faster than would ordinarily have been the case. As someone involved in the representation of social security disability and SSI claims, I have seen the effectiveness of Congressional inquiries on a number of occasions.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

What does a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative do for your claim?
Getting a Social Security Disability Attorney or Representative for your case
How will an attorney help me win disability benefits?
Disability Lawyers, Medical Records, and Social Security Hearings
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing case?
Should you get a Disability Lawyer before you File for Disability, or get an answer on your claim?
Using a lawyer for a Social Security Disability, SSDI, case
Claim for SS Disability - What does an attorney or Representative charge?
Should I have a local Social Security Disability Advocate?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria