SSI Hearing & Social Security Disability Hearing Level
If your Request for Reconsideration has been denied, your next step is to file a Request for Hearing. Do not wait until your appeal period has expired, as you will have to reapply and start all over again at the initial level. This will cost you several months or even a year of waiting. File your Request for Hearing as soon as possible to get your claim on the hearing schedule list.
Some claimants feel intimidated by the possibility of a hearing. The idea of pleading a disability case in front of a judge is frightening at best, and in the case of some claimants, absolutely terrifying. However, unlike the initial and Reconsideration levels, the hearing level is where your claim has the very best chance of being approved. Studies show that 30-35% of claimants nationally are approved at this level. Those with disability attorneys have closer to 60-85% approval rate.
The tough part of the hearing process is waiting. The wait to have a hearing scheduled can be several months to a year or more, and then another several months before the hearing actually takes place. Then a claimant waits another 2-6 months for a decision. The total wait from the appeal date can be 1-3 years. While it is a long and frustrating wait, it also often yields the best fruit—a Favorable Decision.
Once you have a hearing scheduled, and after such a long wait and so much sacrifice on your part, it is important to aggressively prepare for your hearing. For more information, check with your disability attorney or with Social Security.