Is There Any Way I Get an Earlier Hearing on my Disability Claim?


Courthouse columnsThe short answer is: yes... but it's not a guarantee. At Disability Professionals, we know if you could get your Social Security Disability Hearing scheduled the day after you receive a notice, you would. Although a next day hearing is impossible, there are some things you can do to draw attention to your urgent need for a decision so you can obtain benefits faster.

  • Submit a Dire Need Letter. You can potentially speed up your disability hearing by sending a dire need letter. In a dire need letter, you, the claimant, point out the severity of your financial situation. If you are in danger of losing access to needed medications, or have the threat of eviction or foreclosure hanging over your head, write to the Office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR, formerly known as the Office of Hearings and Appeals). They may choose to expedite an ALJ disability hearing. If your situation is especially grave, write a dire need letter and forward it to the ODAR where the hearing is waiting to be scheduled. Attach evidence of your need to this letter, such as copies of late notices from landlords, mortgage companies, and utilities providers.
  • Ask for a Congressional Inquiry. Contact the office of your local congressman or senator and set a congressional inquiry in motion. These inquiries typically involve a congressional staff member either calling or writing the hearing office on a Social Security claimant's behalf. This action usually has mixed results, but it can’t hurt your case. If it does benefit your case, it typically results in your hearing being scheduled for an earlier date, rather than the typical wait of a year or more.
  • Request an On the Record Review. A disability case for which a hearing has been requested can be sped up by requesting what is known as an on-the-record (OTR) review. In an OTR review, the claimant or the claimant's representative simply requests that the hearing office review the claimant's file, or record, prior to a hearing date. The “desired outcome” of the review is that your case will be approved without the necessity of waiting for and holding a hearing. But for an on-the-record review to be granted, the medical evidence must be very compelling. In many cases, disability attorneys will not consider requesting an OTR review unless the claimant's condition has deteriorated, which is supported by medical evidence.

While these are not guaranteed methods of getting your disability hearing scheduled earlier, they are available tools to use in dire circumstances.

Getting Legal Help

If you or a loved one needs to pursue a disability claim or wishes to discuss claim eligibility, give Disability Professionals a call at 855-201-9569 or email DisabilityProfessionals to set up your appointment today.

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