Massachusetts Social Security Disability
Each and every year, thousands of Massachusetts residents file claims for Social Security Disability benefits. Of the more than four million residents living in the state, approximately 4.5 percent receive disability payments from the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, more than half of the Massachusetts Social Security Disability applicants who apply for disability benefits will be denied at the initial stage of the application process. Even more will be denied during the first stage of appeals. In order for most Massachusetts Social Security Disability applicants to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, they must obtain a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Obtaining a disability hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge is not something that happens overnight. Many Massachusetts Social Security Disability applicants wait more than a year before receiving their day in court. In the State of Massachusetts, it can take anywhere from 387 to 430 days to be scheduled for a disability hearing. Once your hearing has been conducted and your case has been heard by the ALJ, it will be another two or three months before you receive notice regarding the outcome of your disability case.
The area of Massachusetts that you live in is what determines how long it will take you to obtain a disability hearing. This is because the agency in charge of scheduling hearings, the Office of Disability and Adjudication Review (ODAR), has multiple offices in each state, with each office servicing specific Social Security field offices. The backlog of applications that each ODAR office has plays a role in how long applicants must wait for that particular ODAR office to schedule a disability hearing. The locations of the Massachusetts ODAR offices and the areas they serve are as follows:
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Springfield, Massachusetts
The Boston ODAR office is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Dorchester, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Framington, Gardner, Hanover, Haverhill, Hyannis, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Norwood, Quincy Roslindale, Salem, Somerville and Waltham. It takes this office an average of 387 days to schedule a disability hearing.
The Providence ODAR office located in the State of Rhode Island handles the disability hearings for the Massachusetts Social Security field offices in Attleboro, Fall River, Taunton and New Bedford. It takes this office an average of thirteen months to schedule a disability hearing.
The Springfield ODAR office is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Social Security field offices in Greenfield, Holyoke, North Adams, Pittsfield, Springfield and Worcester. It takes this office an average of 430 days to schedule a disability hearing.
Hiring a Massachusetts Social Security Disability Attorney
The majority of Massachusetts Social Security Disability applicants must wait more than a year before seeing their first disability payment from the Social Security Administration due to the extensive wait times required for a disability hearing. Because of this, many applicants wonder if there is any way to avoid the lengthy and complicated disability appeal process. The fact of the matter is, the only way to avoid a disability appeal is to be approved for benefits during the initial stage of the application process. In many cases, hiring a Massachusetts Social Security Disability lawyer can help.
When you retain the services of a Massachusetts Social Security Disability attorney, the attorney you choose will work with you to prepare your disability application. They will help you gather the medical evidence you will need in order to prove your claim to the Social Security Administration and will show you how to present your application in the best light possible. This will increase your chances of being awarded benefits in the initial stage of the application process. If your initial application for disability benefits is denied, your Massachusetts Social Security Disability attorney can represent you during your disability appeal, gathering additional medical evidence and preparing your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
If your initial application for disability benefits is denied, it is crucial to your disability case that you work with a qualified Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyer. While you are allowed to represent yourself at your disability hearing, statistics show that applicants who obtain proper legal representation are more likely to be awarded disability benefits than those who do not.
Fortunately, hiring a Massachusetts Social Security Disability attorney does not have to put you under added financial stress. These attorneys work on a contingency basis and only take a percentage of the back payment you are awarded by the Social Security Administration. Massachusetts Social Security Disability lawyers receive either 25 percent of your disability back payment or $6,000, whichever is less. If you are not awarded benefits, your attorney receives no compensation. Not only does this arrangement make hiring a Massachusetts Social Security Disability lawyer more affordable, but it also provides your attorney with a personal incentive to win your disability case.
If you would like to learn more about hiring a Massachusetts Social Security Disability attorney, click here to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.
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