How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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

If you have attorney 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 eliminate 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 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 or expedite 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 lawyer 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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

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?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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?
Applying for Disability in Michigan
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Michigan
Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Michigan

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.