Are You Waiting for a Hearing?

June 26, 2013

Join the club.  In Jacksonville, Florida, over 8,000 claimants are waiting for hearings on their Social Security claims.  While the hearings are scheduled the order that claimants filed their Requests for Hearing, there are a few things that can be done to move cases along.

1.  Critical Need Cases:  A claimant can request that his case be prioritized based on critical need.  Those individuals with a terminal illness, conditions on the Compassionate Allowance list, military service casualty cases and those who are suicidal or homicidal are considered to be critical need and claimants should let the hearing office handling their case know about the pertinent factor.

2.  Dire Need Cases:  Dire need means that without Social Security benefits, the claimant will be unable to meet basic needs such as food, shelter or medicine.  Dire need goes beyond hardship, which many claimants face, and rests on the inability to meet the basic needs of life.  Again, claimants should let the hearing office handling their claim know about the dire need.  Documentation of foreclosure or homelessness can boost the credibility of the dire need statement.

3.  On the Record Request:  Claimants can bypass a hearing altogether by requesting that the hearing office approve disability benefits without a hearing by requesting an “On the Record” determination.  If an On the Record request is not granted, a hearing will be held.  On the Record requests should be made with the assistance of a Social Security Disability attorney.

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