Social Security Disability Hearings in Missouri
For many individuals who file for benefits in Missouri with the social security administration, the Social Security Disability hearing represents the best chance of being awarded disability benefits. Here is a short list of answers to general questions about disability hearings.
1. At what point in the process do you ask for a Social Security Disability hearing?
The request for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge is made after the disability application has been denied. The deadline to request a Social Security Disability hearing is 60 days from the date of the denial of the application.
2. How do you request a Social Security Disability hearing?
You simply contact the social security office and tell them that you would like to appeal the denial of your claim and would like to file a request for a hearing. They will then send you the necessary paperwork. If you are represented by an attorney, the attorney will request the disability hearing for you.
3. How long does it take to go before a disability judge?
How long does it take to get a Social Security Disability hearing scheduled?? It really depends on where you live. Most Social Security Disability hearing offices have backlogs and many have backlogs of several thousand cases. So, it may take many months to get a hearing scheduled. For this reason (the long wait), you need to prepare for your hearing and for most people this preparation will mean finding able representation.
4. Are you required to have an attorney for a Social Security Disability hearing?
No, you are not required to have an attorney for a disability hearing. However, claimants who are represented at hearings by attorneys who are familiar with SSD and SSI disability rules and regulations typically stand a much greater chance of being approved for disability benefits versus claimants who show up at a hearing without representation.
5. Will an attorney improve your chances at a Social Security Disability hearing?
Having an attorney can certainly increase the odds of winning at a hearing. Claimants who are not represented, of course, will generally have no idea what the impairment listing manual is, what the medical vocational grid is, what the SSA definition of disability entails, or how important it is to try to get supportive functional assessments from treating physicians. But disability attorneys and experienced non-attorney advocates do this on a daily basis for the clients they represent.
6. After a Social Security Disability hearing is held, how long does it take to receive a decision?
A disability hearing decision can be received in as little as a few weeks following a hearing. However, how long it takes to get a decision letter really depends on how backed up a particular hearing office is. Decisional notices are actually put together by hearing office decision writers, not the judges themselves. And often these individuals are as backed up as everyone else in the system.
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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