At Taylor, Warren, and Weidner, we know if you could get your Social Security Disability Hearing scheduled immediately after you receive your hearing notice, you would. Although that is impossible, there are some things you can do to get some attention to your urgent need for a decision, so you can obtain benefits faster.
- Submit a Dire Need Letter. You can potentially speed up your disability hearing by sending a dire need letter. In a dire need letter, you, the claimant, point out the severity of your financial situation. If you are in danger of losing access to needed medications, or have the threat of eviction or foreclosure hanging over your head, write to the Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR, formerly known as the Office of Hearings and Appeals). They may choose to expedite an ALJ disability hearing.
- Ask for a Congressional Inquiry. Contact the office of your local congressman or senator and set a congressional inquiry in motion. These inquiries typically involve a congressional staff member either calling or writing the hearing office on a Social Security claimant's behalf. This action usually has mixed results, but it can’t hurt your case. If it does benefit your case, it typically results in your hearing being scheduled for an earlier date, rather than the typical wait of a year or more.
- Request an On the Record Review. A disability case for which a hearing has been requested can be sped up by requesting what is known as an on-the-record (OTR) review. In an OTR review, the claimant or the claimant's representative simply requests that the hearing office review the claimant's file, or record, prior to a hearing date. The “desired outcome” of the review is that your case will be approved without the necessity of waiting for and holding a hearing. But for an on-the-record review to be granted, the medical evidence must be very compelling. In many cases, disability attorneys will not consider requesting an OTR review unless the claimant's condition has deteriorated, which is supported by medical evidence.