How can you get a Quick Hearing in California for Social Security Disability?

This is the second of three questions that I've come across recently (in the forum I mentioned in the prior post). Can you get a quick hearing for Social Security Disability?

Well, the social security administration has implemented something called QDD, which stands for quick disability decisions, and this calls for state disability processing agencies (the agencies that render medical disability determinations for the social security administration) to identify (using a predictive model) and separately process disability claims that have a high probability of approval. Originally, QDD was confined to the SSA boston region, i.e. the new england states, but has been extended by the SSA commissioner to all states. And, according to statistics revealed by the social security administration, QDD can move cases through the system faster.

However, to make an overly long post shorter, claimants have no absolutely no input into whether or not their case will be designated for QDD processing and, more importantly, QDD has nothing to do with disability hearings. Now, if a case is selected for QDD and ends up being denied, this may shave some time off the total processing time for claimants who are forced to go through the disability appeal system and appear at a disability hearing in California.

More to the point, how can you get a hearing more quickly scheduled? Several years ago, it was "relatively" easier. If you had a dire need situation (including imminent foreclosure or eviction), you could submit, or have your disability attorney submit for you, a request for an expedited hearing based on dire need. This type of letter would have been sent to the hearing office director for whichever hearing office had your claim. Of course, you can still do this.

However, now, hearing backlogs have become monstrously larger than they were then, hearing offices are not particularly well-staffed, and more claimants are making dire need requests. So, in all likelihood, no matter where you live, its probably harder to get a hearing expedited based on dire need.

However, if you'd like to make the attempt, what should accompany your dire need letter is documentation. In other words, if you are being threatened with eviction or foreclosure, attach copies of these notices with your request for an expedited hearing.


1. Speeding up the Request for a Social Security Hearing
2. Can a disability attorney speed up my disability case?
3. Waiting for a Hearing to be Scheduled before an ALJ
4. How can you speed up a Social Security Disability case?

Also, though many people will pan the idea of calling a congressman or senator to request a congressional inquiry (probably for good reason: at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, calling a congressman or senator is practically a waste of time), at the hearing level doing this can sometimes successfully bump a case further up in line.

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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