As the wait time for Social Security Disability hearings reaches a new record, it is more important than ever to have expert attorney representation.
New reports from the Social Security Administration reveal that the length of time a disabled individual has to wait to appear at a hearing before a Social Security Disability Judge, is close to reaching a new record. The old “record” for average wait time for a disability hearing was 532 days in August of 2008. The “wait time” is the time from when a claimant files a request for a hearing until the hearing is actually held. Last year the average wait time was 422 days, but under the current trend a new record wait time – of over 532 days – could be reached as early as this month! In July 2015, there were 1,056,071 pending cases. While there are many reasons for this disturbing trend, one big factor is that Social Security has not received adequate funding by Congress to keep up with its increasing work load. This means if you have a claim pending, not only will you have to wait longer for your hearing, but there will be less attention to your claim at Social Security to make sure the processing of your request for hearing stays on track.
One reason it is important to have an attorney on your side is that we can can electronically keep track of your case in the hearing office system. We cannot do much about the wait time (and any representative that states they can is not being honest), but we can keep a close eye on your case and make sure everything stays on track. Without an attorney you will be in the dark about where your claim is as you wait for your hearing. Also, at Morgan & Weisbrod, we have many attorneys that are Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law (or are working to achieve this distinction), so we can usually take the first opportunity that is given by the hearing office to have your hearing. Other representatives often have “conflicts” with other hearings or other types of cases. At Morgan & Weisbrod, we will have an attorney ready to appear with you at your hearing on the first available date. With wait times ready to reach a new record high, you need a qualified attorney that can track the progress of your claim and avoid any delays that could even further lengthen the wait for your hearing.
Sources: NOSSCR Bulletin – August 2015; ODAR National Caseload Analysis Report (Month ending: 7/31/15)
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.