Long Wait Times for a Hearing

A claimant waits approximately 8 to 10 months after submitting an application for a disability determination. If denied, a claimant in Colorado Springs or Pueblo, Colorado can expect to wait another 17 months according to the Social Security Administration for a hearing. By the time a claimant has a decision, he or she has typically waited more than two years. If the claim is then denied at the hearing level, another 18 months can be expected for a decision from the Appeals Council. Across the nation, approximately 1.1 million claimants are waiting for a hearing. How do claimants survive during these long wait periods when they are unable to work? Unfortunately, there is no good answer to this question. If a person meets the criteria for dire need, e.g., homelessness, a claimant may request an expedited hearing, but the requirements for expedited status are strict. State programs that may help are Aid to the Needy and Disabled, Medicaid and food stamps. While it takes far too long to get to a hearing, don’t give up. A claimant can use this wait period to continue to develop the evidence necessary to prove the claim.

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