Social Security FAQs
Why Are Objective Medical Findings Important For Your Disability Claim?
Objective medical findings are extremely important for your claim. These are the findings that aren’t in dispute or open to misdiagnosis. The challenge for your doctor is to make the correlation between things like x-rays and muscle aches. Often it will be hard to connect those two findings. However, your attorney will be able to guide your doctor as to how to convey that information.
The best thing your doctor can do is to ask about your limitations. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything you claim. They need to base their findings on their professional experience.
When Do Social Security Disability Benefits Start?Benefits will start in the first month of your date of entitlement. It is not given on the day of the finding of disability because there is a five-month waiting period. In addition, back payments are limited to 12 months prior to the application for benefits.
What Should I Do While I’m Waiting on My Hearing Decision?
While waiting on your hearing decision may be difficult, the Social Security Administration recommends that you take the following steps to ensure that your hearing is processed as quickly as possible:
- Appoint your representative (your SSD attorney) as early as possible so that they have time to review your case and prepare for your hearing
- Do not cancel or reschedule your hearing unless absolutely necessary (this can lead to several more months of waiting)
- Be sure to have your representative submit any pertinent medical evidence at least 5 business days before your hearing
- Keep the SSA informed about any address changes
Is It Possible To Get a Social Security Disability Expedited Hearing?
It is possible to secure an expedited hearing when your case is classified as a "Critical Case."
In order to qualify as a critical case, the SSA staff must determine that your case meets one of the following qualifications:
- Your illness is determined to be terminal, or untreatable
- Your case has received a 100% permanent and total disability compensation rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Your case has been labeled a Military Casualty or Wounded Warrior case
- Your case was labeled a Compassionate Allowance Case or a Dire Need case
- You (the claimant) have been found to be suicidal, homicidal, or potentially violent
How Long Is the Average Social Security Hearing Wait Time?Depending on the location of your hearing, average wait times before a hearing is held range between 12-15 months, sometimes shorter or longer. The SSA website provides estimated wait times for appeal hearings based on the location where your hearing is being held.
What Is the Social Security Hearing Decision Timeline?While the actual decision timeline for your hearing may vary depending on the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case, and the complexity of your case, the average decision timeline is 60-90 days.
How Do I Know the Status of My Social Security Hearing?
If you are waiting to find out when your hearing will be scheduled for, you can check the status of this in one of two ways:
- You can wait to receive a notification in the mail about the date and location of your hearing; this will be sent out by the Social Security Administration at least 75 days before the date of your hearing
- You can check the status of your appeal online at the Social Security Administration (SSA) website; the website should provide you with the same information (hearing date, time and location)