Blog

FAQ: How Long Will It Take to Get a Hearing Scheduled After I Appeal?

After you file your second appeal requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, be prepared to wait a long time to get a date for your hearing and then a few months more for decision to be made. Nationally, hearing offices average about 15.5 months from the date a request for a hearing is filed until a decision is handed down.

How Do I Know if I am Doing Substantial Gainful Activity?

The Social Security Administra¬tion uses the “Sequential Evaluation Process” to determine your eligibility for benefits. The first step in the Sequential Evaluation Process evaluates whether you are performing work at the “substantial gainful activity” level, which essentially asks whether your work involves “significant physical or mental activities.

Budget Cuts Hinder SSA Operations

Congress has passed a Continuing Resolution effectively freezing funding for the Social Security Administration for the first half of fiscal year 2013 at the fiscal year-2012 level. To accommodate these budget reductions in the face of growing demand for Social Security services, the Social Security Administration has modified the business hours of field offices.

Proving Disability for Clients with Fybromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that is challenging for any attorney to prove under the strict standards of Social Security Disability rules. Under a new Social Security ruling, fibromyalgia symptoms are evaluated similarly to a chronic pain condition and can be a Medically Determinable Impairment (MDI) under the criteria set forth in SSR 12-2p with evaluation of symptoms including diffuse pain, fatigue, depression and difficulty with memory.

Waiting Time for Hearings Has Been Reduced Significantly

We are often asked the question: how long does it take until I get a hearing date on my disability appeal? Well, we have good news for our clients: today it takes significantly less time to get to a hearing than it did one or two years ago.

The latest report from SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) shows that the waiting time for post-hearing decisions in the Northern California regional hearing offices has been reduced significantly in the past two years.

Audio Recordings Can Now Be Electronically Downloaded Within Days of Your Hearing

In recent years, the SSA has implemented a number of online services for claimants’ representatives, including access to our clients' electronic folders. At LaPorte Law Firm, we have conducted online business for our clients with the SSA since the Appointed Representative Services (ARS) initiative began in 2009. These online services have allowed us to electronically file disability applications and appeals, and in addition we’ve been able to more efficiently file new medical evidence, written legal arguments, and even submit proposed Favorable Decisions for approval by SSA on behalf of our clients.

Unemployment Insurance

“I can’t work, but I’ve been receiving unemployment because I need a roof over my head. Will getting unemployment cause my SSA disability appeal to be denied?”

The Answer: Perhaps…or maybe not.

At our office, we receive inquiries often on this issue, particularly since 2009 when layoffs and extensions of unemployment benefits have been common.