We have prepared explanations for the procedures the Social Security Administration (SSA) will use in processing your Request for Hearing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. We hope that this will answer most of your questions!
- What Happens If My Claim Is Denied? If you have received a Notice of Reconsideration and your claim is denied for a medical reason, we will appeal your determination by submitting a Request for Hearing within the appeal deadline of 65 days from the date on your notice. We usually do not submit any new medical records at this time because the SSA will now prepare an exhibit file for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review [ODAR] where your case will be transferred. There are exceptions that your Case Manager can explain. The local SSA office will no longer have your case. The ODAR will begin the process of preparing your case for a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge [ALJ].
- What Happens Next? A letter from the ODAR will be sent to you acknowledging the Request for Hearing we submitted to the SSA and explaining the hearing process. You may be scheduled for a consultative examination with one of the State’s doctors or psychologists that evaluate claimants for the SSA. The ODAR will notify you and our office of this appointment and we will have the information available for you if you lose your appointment notice. YOU MUST ATTEND THIS APPOINTMENT OR YOUR CLAIM COULD BE DENIED FOR FAILURE TO COOPERATE!!!
- How Long Will This Process Take? This letter states that the Judge will notify you at least 75 days before the date of your hearing. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR HEARING WILL BE IN 75 DAYS. In all likelihood your hearing will not be scheduled for many months. Some ODARs might schedule a hearing within 18 months while others may have a backlog of 2 years or more. OUR OFFICE HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE SCHEDULING OF HEARINGS.
- Pre-hearing Update: We will assign a Case Manager to your case. The Case Manager will call you as soon as your hearing is scheduled so we can update your case. When you receive this notice you will also receive medical/treatment update forms. Please list of all of your doctors, clinics, hospitals, and medications and all other medical treatment including tests. Return the packet as soon as you can in the self-addressed stamped envelope. BE PREPARED!! PLEASE RETURN YOUR COMPLETED UPDATED PACKET AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
- List of Exhibits: Usually within several months [60-90 days] from the receipt of acknowledgement of the request for hearing, we will both receive a letter from the ODAR informing that the list of your exhibits is ready for our review electronically. This List of Exhibits has been prepared by the ODAR and lets us know what medical evidence they have gathered for your file. Your Case Manager will use the electronic List and the updated information you provided during the Pre-Hearing to update your file. Medical updates requests will be sent to all of your treating sources that you have told us about. The medical records will be compared to the Exhibit List and new records will be submitted to the ODAR electronically. If one of your medical providers does not cooperate in providing medical records in response to our request we may enlist your help in contacting this provider, or we may have to request that the judge issue a subpoena to the doctor for your records. The judge will decide whether or not to issue the subpoena.