Anyone who has applied for Social Security Disability benefits knows exactly how long and drawn out the disability claim and appeal process can be. Those who are denied during the initial stage of the disabilitu benefits application(which, itself, takes three to six months to complete) must undergo the process of appealing the decision (which takes another three to six months). Since more than 80 percent of such requests are denied, this means that the majority of Social Security Disability applicants must request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Depending on the area of the nation you live in, getting your day in court can take two years or more. Traditionally disability claimants would not discover the outcome of their disability hearing until two to three months after the hearing had been concluded. Thanks to the SSA’s new technology, however, things may be looking brighter for those who must undergo the hearing stage of a disability appeal.
When someone is suffering financial burdens due to an inability to work caused by a disability, every day without benefits counts. Fortunately the SSA has made attempts to speed up the time that it takes for applicants to find out the status of their disability hearing outcome. Those who are enrolled in the SSA’s online Representative Services can get instant access to the ALJ’s decision the very same day the decision is made and the case is closed, rather than waiting weeks or months to receive notification via mail.
In order for a Social Security Disability applicant to get access to this instant information, he or she must be working with a disability representative who is enrolled in the online representative services program that was rolled out by the SSA in 2009. If an applicant is not working with a representative or is working with a representative that is not enrolled in the online representative services program, he or she will still have to wait the standard processing time to receive notice of the hearing outcome in the mail.
If you have yet to choose a Social Security Disability representative and you wish to work with one who is enrolled in the online representative services program, ask the representative that you are interested in working with if they are enrolled. If the representative is enrolled in the program, he or she will be able to get access to the decision that the ALJ makes regarding your case on the same day the decision is made. This means you won’t have to wait for the letter to arrive in the mail to know whether or not your disability hearing resulted in a successful outcome.