Can I Expedite the Date for My Social Security Hearing?

Georgia Expediting Social Security Hearing

Hundreds of people apply for Social Security disability benefits every year. Most of these individuals are denied and must attend a Social Security disability hearing to argue their case and get the benefits they need. In many cases, hearings are not scheduled for over a year, which poses a problem for those that cannot work due to their disability but still must pay for day-to-day expenses.

This has many wondering whether they can expedite the date for their Social Security hearing. And in some cases, they can. Below is a list of ways to expedite a Social Security disability hearing.

Pleading Dire Need

When a person is relying on Social Security disability benefits to cover the costs of basic needs, they must inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) right away. When telling the SSA of these needs, the individual is required to provide proof.

This proof can include letters of eviction, notices that utilities have been disconnected, or pharmacy bills showing medical costs. Those who can do this may have their case deemed a “dire need” case, which means it could be expedited.

Terminal Illness

Some disabilities do not have a good prognosis and could be fatal. When this is the case, approval could take too long. This could result in the benefits being received after death when it is too late. The SSA will generally expedite the hearing for anyone with a proven terminal illness. Some reasons the SSA may consider terminal illness are:

  • A doctor has indicated that the disease is terminal;
  • An individual is on a wait list for an organ transplant;
  • Anyone suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis;
  • Individuals that have been in a coma for at least 30 days;
  • A person suffers from AIDS;
  • A person is dealing with certain types of cancer; or
  • There is a need for on-going life support.

Compassionate Allowance

A disability does not need to be terminal for the SSA to expedite a hearing. When a disability is not terminal but is severe, the SSA may consider moving the hearing date up to provide individuals with the benefits they need to cover the costs of their illness. In total, the SSA lists 165 types of diseases they consider eligible for the compassionate allowance. Some of these include dementia, pancreatic cancer, and small cell lung cancer.

Military Service

The SSA will often move up a hearing for those that currently serve, or have served, in any branch of the military. Not all servicemen and women are eligible for this, though. Only those who developed an injury or illness after October 1, 2001, may have their case expedited.

Discuss Expediating a Social Security Hearing with an Advocate

It is easy for a person to become frustrated after learning that their Social Security disability hearing will not take place for several months, or that they will need to wait over a year for their hearing. However, the SSA understands that not everyone can wait that long.

It is for this reason that in certain circumstances, the SSA is willing to expedite a hearing. Anyone with a hearing date set should speak to a Social Security disability attorney who can help. An attorney can see whether a hearing can be expedited and can coach applicants throughout the process to give them the best chance of success.

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