Why Does it Take Two Years to Eventually Obtain a Disability Hearing?

Nationwide, on average, it normally requires one to two years to be scheduled for a disability hearing. Factor in time it requires to obtain a decision on a preliminary disability application, thus the time it takes to obtain a choice on a first appeal (request for reconsideration), and the simple fact is the fact that most of the people who file for disability benefits, either SSI or SSD, will not see some financial help for about three years (if they are approved at all).

Most initial applications, aproximatelly 70 %, are denied. And most reconsideration appeals, about eighty percent, are denied also. For those who file a second appeal (an appeal for a hearing), the odds of approval get a lot better, as federal impairment judges overturn more than half of all denials issued by DDS.

Nonetheless, as a result of an enormous surge in the number of disability claims being filed each year, the wait to be seen before a federal administrative law judge (ALJ) just keeps getting longer. As the population ages and the national unemployment rate will continue to climb, it is probably that backlogs within Social Security hearing offices will surely worsen.

Part of the problem lies within the Social Security perseverance procedure itself. Disability examiners within DDS perform in a strategy which keeps approval rates very low and out of sync with the majority of the system, a lot of cases that can and should be approved at lower levels of consideration aren’t, which only adds to the burden on federal administrative law judges who, eventually, approve the assertions anyway. Additionally, some ALJs tend to be more productive compared to others, and also unlike disability examiners, who face regular performance reviews, they’re under no pressure to operate fairly quickly or even even economically. Judges do not have to decide any particular number of claims each year or month, and yes it may be argued that some people use this loss of accountability.

But by and large the very best contributing factor to the long wait for those attempting to be Social Security disability hearings is the point that, despite the increase in the number of claims getting filed, Social Security hasn’t hired considerably more people to help process these claims. Disability examiners who retire are not replaced, so the workload on the examiners which continue to be utilized with DDS just continues to pile up. Moreover, there has been SSDI Calculator to hire a lot more ALJs, and zero hard work to employ support staff both within DDS or the office of disability adjudication and review (ODAR). In a nutshell, everybody working for Social Security has more labor to do, and less aid to get it done.

Instead, under the stewardship of Joanne Barnhart, a prior commissioner of the Social Security Administration, programs like the disability service advancement initiative (The hearing and dsi) process development first step (HPI) wasted what small time and resources the SSA had at its fingertips. Silly sleight of hand tricks, like having hearing office clerks function as floaters among a pool of disability judges rather than being assigned to one judge, only made people within ODAR less responsible for their work output no one was held liable for the development of any particular claim, no one needed to continue to be around to deal with their own mistakes, not surprisingly, and, not enough have done.

Both programs ended up being unsuccessful, basically smokescreens that masked the real issue-like virtually every government agency, Social Security is poorly run, and somebody needs to step up to the plate and either lobby Congress for much more funding or overhaul the system solely so it operates efficiently.

Not a popular stance in the current economy, but the only real option. Until politicians and bureaucrats are willing to stop schmoozing for votes and offer head on with the quagmire of the Social Security disability process, the wait to be heard before a disability judge will only continue to increase.

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