SSI Hearing & Social Security Disability Request for Hearing
If your Request for Reconsideration has been denied, your next step is to file a Request for Hearing.
Some claimants feel intimidated by the possibility of a hearing. However, the worst mistake you can make is to neglect to file this important appeal. The Hearing level is where your claim has the greatest chance of being approved.
If you wait and have to reapply, you will start all over again at the initial level and will likely have the same results. It is strongly recommended that you appeal the Request for Hearing and get your name on the scheduling list as soon as possible.
The wait to have a hearing scheduled is a lengthy one. It is common for a claim to take several months to a year or more just to get a hearing scheduled, and then 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, statistics show that it also often yields the best fruit—a Favorable Decision. (About 1/3 of claimants at this level nationally are approved if unrepresented. Among those who have legal representation, about 2/3 are approved.)
If you have already filed your Request for Hearing and have a hearing scheduled, it is a good idea to seek representation. After such a long wait and so much sacrifice on your part, it is important to adequately prepare for your hearing. For more information, check with your disability attorney or with Social Security.