The waiting period for individuals to receive a Social Security disability hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has significantly increased over recent years. In Illinois, Social Security disability lawyers often see individuals wait a frustrating 17.2 months before they see a judge. Fortunately for some people, that waiting time can be significantly reduced under certain circumstances. In some cases, the need for a hearing can even be eliminated completely.
Requesting On The Record Review
When Social Security disability lawyers believe that the medical evidence is extremely strong to support a case, an on the record (OTR) review is sometimes requested. A significantly worsening condition, erroneous handling of a claim, and misinterpretation of medical evidence can spark such a request as well. When a claim is subjected to an OTR, they can be approved without the need for an ALJ hearing.
When a claimant is facing eviction, foreclosure, lack of food, or the loss of access to medical treatment and medications, a dire need request can be submitted. Supporting documentation, such as eviction notices and medical treatment provider statements significantly improves one’s chances of having the ALJ hearing expedited.
Expediting Hearings for Military Veterans
Special processing is sometimes provided for military veterans who are alleging that they sustained an illness or injury while on active duty status after October 1, 2001 that resulted in physical or mental impairment.
Special Processing for the Terminally Ill
If an individual is suffering from a condition that is untreatable, irreversible, and is expected to result in death, the Office of Adjudication and Review guidelines provide that special processing is required. Other than being processed more quickly, terminal illness claims are treated just like other disability cases, however.
Compassionate Allowance Processing
Claimants who have very severe conditions that have been classified as compassionate allowances may experience shorter waiting times as well. There are approximately 200 conditions in Social Security’s compassionate allowances list.
Expedited Processing for Dangerous Behavior
Claims are sometimes determined to require expedited processing when an individual is suicidal, homicidal, or is potentially violent as well.
Sometimes, the need for an expedited hearing is obvious and noted without further action being required from the claimant or his or her attorney. Other times, circumstances change or the need for special processing is not immediately evident and a request for an expedited ALJ hearing must be submitted.