One of the most common questions we get asked is why it takes so long to be approved for benefits? The answer is that unfortunately, Social Security’s backlog right now it making the wait times longer than ever.

Recently, the backlog of applicants waiting for a hearing has passed the 1 million mark. To put that in perspective that would be as if the entire state of Montana was waiting for a hearing. Back in 2012 the wait time to get a hearing scheduled was less than a year. Now, due to this back log, it is averaging 602 days.

What Social Security is Doing to Fix the Problem

Last year, over 7,400 people on the waiting list for a hearing that passed away before they were ever able to see a judge. Social Security realizes the huge negative impact this back log is having on those who need help the most. They say they are in the process of hiring 500 new judges and more than 600 more support staff. Hopefully this means shorter wait times for those applying for benefits.

What You Can Do to Fix the Problem

Any attorney promising to get you approved quicker than the average 602 days is being dishonest. We do get a good percentage of our clients approved on the initial application. However, there is still a good portion that must wait until the hearing level to be approved. However, what we can promise you is to make sure you have the best possible chance of being approved on the initial stages, as well as make sure you get to a hearing just as quickly as possible.

File a Dire Need

Social Security does have certain situations that they recognize as “dire”. If you meet one of these criteria your hearing date could potentially be pushed up significantly. Situations Social Security deems dire are as follows.

  1. Homelessness- Social Security does not consider somebody homeless if they are able to stay with friends or family. To qualify for this dire need you must be either living in a shelter or on the streets.
  2. Terminally Ill- To meet this qualification you must have medical evidence that your condition will lead to death and is untreatable. Typically you will need either a letter from your doctor or medical records stating your condition is terminal.
  3. Veterans with a 100% VA Disability Rating- If you have been deemed 100% disabled by the VA you may qualify for a dire need.
  4. Unable to Obtain Life Saving Medical Help and/or Medication- Because there are free clinics in most areas not many people will qualify for this type of dire need. In order for someone to meet these criterias they need to live in an area that does not offer any type of free medical care. On top of that they need to have a condition that, without medication and proper medical care, could result in death within the near future.

Hire a SSDI Lawyer

With all the paperwork and evidence needed, it is easy to add months to your waiting time for benefits. Hiring an experienced disability lawyer can not only ensure your case is processed as quickly as possible, but greatly increase your chances of being approved period. Call today for your free consultation.




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