Are you discouraged with the waiting period for your Social Security disability claim? You are not alone. Thousands of Americans filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits are facing an extensive waiting period. This poses quite a dilemma because, assuming, anyone filing for benefits is disabled and financially in need. The average waiting period for a hearing is 24 months, during which a claimant in not working due to their disability or is employed but is not earning over $980 per month in 2009. At the Indiana law office of Scott D. Lewis, Attorney at Law, LLC, Social Security Disability Attorney Scott Lewis understands that two years is a very long time to have little to no income with the burden of outstanding medical bills. Don't give up! There are actions by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that are being taken to attempt to fix the problem.
On March 24, 2009, a congressional hearing was held at which SSA Commissioner Michael J. Astrue addressed the frustration of the current state of the Social Security disability backlog. Commissioner Astrue outlined the following goals of the SSA:
- Open 10 new hearing offices
- Establish 3 new National Hearing Center sites
- Hire 157 additional Administrative Law Judges (ALJ)
- Hire an additional 840 hearing office support staff
- Hire 135 new administrative appeals judges & support staff
These targeted goals are in hopes that the average processing time at the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) will decrease to 270 days. The Indianapolis hearings office is currently ranked with one of the longest waiting periods for hearings with a wait time exceeding 730 days. The SSA reaching their proposed goals will be helpful to the Indiana area.
Don't get discouraged and don't give up. Call Attorney Scott D. Lewis of the Law Office of Scott D. Lewis, Attorney at Law, LLC, to get more information on the appeals process. He focuses in Social Security disability claims and has the experience to help you with your claim.