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The Long Wait for Disability


Waiting for your Social Security Disability Insurance hearing can be frustrating. And waiting is something many SSDI applicants have to do, all across the country. Waiting for more than a year to have your hearing is quite common, after already being denied at the Initial Application and Reconsideration levels of the disability process. In some places, the wait for a hearing can be more than 18 months. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for instance, in 2016, the wait was nearly two years once an applicant requested your hearing. At the time, Charlotte had the single most [...]

The Long Wait for Disability2019-04-09T23:46:34+00:00

Substitution of Party: What Happens When a Disability Claimant Dies?


When a Claimant Passes, The Claim May Still Continue In most cases, if your loved one filed for disability before their death, their claim can still continue. In this situation, Social Security requires a process called a “Substitution of Party” (SOP). How To Become Or Appoint an SOP To become the SOP, you sign a simple form letting the Social Security Administration that know you wish to continue the claim for disability. You will be responsible for gathering medical evidence or other important information for the case.  You will need a copy of the death [...]

Substitution of Party: What Happens When a Disability Claimant Dies?2019-04-09T21:00:26+00:00

What Happens After My SSDI Hearing?


It is normal to wonder, even before your disability hearing, what to expect once you appear before the judge. While there is no way to be certain what will happen, there are a few guidelines about what to expect at the hearing and after. A SSDI Decision Will Take Some Time To Be Rendered First, do not expect to get a decision at your hearing. Very rarely does a claimant get a decision during the hearing. Even if you know someone who got a decision at the hearing, it does not mean you will. Some [...]

What Happens After My SSDI Hearing?2019-04-11T00:40:25+00:00

What Happens if I Have a Bad Administrative Law Judge?


The internet has dozens of review sites where you can find ratings of restaurants, airlines, mechanics, doctors, and even social security disability judges. You may have looked up your administrative law judge (ALJ) when your hearing was scheduled. A lot of people wonder what happens if you have a judge who does not pay a lot of their cases. Having a social security disability lawyer can help. Preparation For Your SSDI Hearing Is Key You'll want to prepare for your hearing the same way, regardless of how your administrative law judge pays cases. You'll want [...]

What Happens if I Have a Bad Administrative Law Judge?2019-04-11T00:41:01+00:00

Why Do I Need to Have an SSDI Hearing?


We all seem to know at least one person who moved easily through the disability process, getting an approval from Social Security within a matter of months. But somehow your case has dragged on nearly two years (or longer!) and now you have a hearing set with a judge. At this point many people are very frustrated with the disability process and want to know why they were not approved sooner. Some people are approved faster than others for a variety of reasons. Factors That Lead To A Hearing Being Required for Disability Benefits The [...]

Why Do I Need to Have an SSDI Hearing?2019-04-11T00:41:15+00:00

Appeals Council Remand Rate Plunges


Every claimant who is denied at hearing by an ALJ has the right to appeal that decision to the Appeals Council, which is a basic safeguard of every claimant’s due process rights. Unfortunately, data released by the Social Security Administration reveals that the number of successful appeals has plummeted over the past eight years: Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percentage of claims overturned on appeal 21.77% 21.19% 18.62% 17.11% 14.34% 13.58% 12.03% 10.41% 11.83% <br="clear"> As shown in the above chart, in 2010 the Appeals Council overturned (or “remanded”) 21.77 [...]

Appeals Council Remand Rate Plunges2019-04-11T00:42:58+00:00

Tips for a Speedier Decision Following a Hearing


In order to avoid a very long wait for a decision following a disability hearing, here are a few tips can help to keep the process moving along as quickly as possible: Make sure the record is complete One common reason for a delay in receiving a decision after a hearing is that the claimant has not gathered all of the relevant medical evidence for the ALJ to review. This means the record is incomplete, and most ALJs will not make a decision on a claim without having the opportunity to review all of the [...]

Tips for a Speedier Decision Following a Hearing2019-04-11T00:43:13+00:00

ALJ Newsletter Compares Hearing Offices to “Sweatshops,” Describes Relationship With ODAR Management as “Acrimonious”


In August of 2015, the Association of Administrative Law Judges sent a Newsletter and President’s Report to Ms. Theresa Gruber, Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The letter detailed a litany of complaints about ALJ workload and morale in hearing offices around the country. The Problems at ODAR The letter begins by describing the deterioration in working conditions in the hearing offices over the past several years in very stark language: “The damage to our adjudicatory system, and the workplace where judges and staff provide due process [...]

ALJ Newsletter Compares Hearing Offices to “Sweatshops,” Describes Relationship With ODAR Management as “Acrimonious”2019-04-11T00:45:22+00:00

Budget Deal Shores Up Disability Trust Fund, Allows for More Judges to Hear Appeals


A recent (October 2016) bipartisan budget deal includes important provisions that will shore up the Social Security trust fund and increase the number of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) hearing cases. Long wait times experienced by claimants waiting to have their cases resolved due to underfunding and understaffing at the Social Security Administration are still a problem, and this deal should improve the situation. It also may help solve the looming funding crisis involving the disability trust fund, which was scheduled to start paying out reduced monthly benefits in 2016 due to funding shortages. Addressing Shortfalls [...]

Budget Deal Shores Up Disability Trust Fund, Allows for More Judges to Hear Appeals2019-04-11T00:46:35+00:00

What Happens After Your Disability Hearing


After a claimant has waited months and maybe years for their disability claim to finally be heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), it can be very frustrating to find out that they have to continue to wait after their hearing is over. So why DO people have to wait? The Post-Hearing Review It is fairly uncommon for an ALJ to inform the claimant that they have won their case on the day of the hearing. In most cases, the ALJ will adjourn the hearing, and the claim will enter a period called “post-hearing review.” [...]

What Happens After Your Disability Hearing2019-04-11T00:49:04+00:00