The unfortunate truth is getting a final decision for your Social Security disability benefits application can take years. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to cut down on the time you spend waiting.
Submitting All The Right Paperwork The First Time
After you turn in your application and you wait for a response, they are going to request additional paperwork from you. This can include things such as current medical records. They may even want you to see a doctor of their choosing for a physical. You can save some time by making sure you turn in as much paperwork as possible regarding your disability and medical condition. You should also make sure you turn in any proof of income as well.
Request an OTR Decision
If you believe you have turned in enough medical evidence to show that you are actually disabled, you can send in a request for an OTR (on the record) decision. This requires an administrative law judge to look at your file and all of the evidence you have submitted to confirm that you are disabled. This will drastically cut down on times because you will not have to wait for a hearing.
You will need to reach out to the local Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) to request an OTR decision. They will either grant the request, deny the request, or ask your attorney for additional information as to why you need the request. It is important to keep in mind that without a disability attorney, you will not be able to debate your onset date. This just means that the judge can change the onset date which will decrease the back-pay you are entitled to while waiting for the hearing. A disability attorney can challenge changing the date for you.
Compassionate Allowances List
If you have a serious disabling illness in addition to meeting the qualifications for Social Security benefits, it is possible you may be able to get benefits faster because your illness is on the Compassionate Allowance List (CAL). The Social Security Administration has a list of roughly 200 conditions and illnesses on it. Having an illness on this list can mean the difference of getting an award benefits letter in a few weeks instead of a few years. Some of the conditions on this list include:
While the Social Security administration is supposed to screen applications to see if they are on the CAL list, it is in your best interest to alert the Social Security office after you apply if you have a condition that is on this list. Then, you just need to make sure you submit medical evidence clearly displaying you have the condition you claim to have.
For obvious reasons, it is in your best interest to reach out to a disability attorney like one from Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law for assistance as he or she will know everything there is to know about speeding up the application process. He or she will also know what to do to appeal if you get rejected the first time you apply.Share
1 November 2015
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