There are 8.7 million disabled workers collecting Social Security Disability Benefits and over 3 million people apply for Social Security Disability Benefits each year! Only 33 percent of the initial applications are approved and only 700,000 appeal the denial to the Administrative Law Judges. Roughly 1 million people give up! Of the 700,000 who appeal the average wait from the filing of the initial application to a decision from the Administrative Law Judge is 500 days!
Under proposed Social Security Rules, the disability appeals process would adopt strict deadlines and rules of evidence. The Administrative Law Judge would give 75 days notice of hearing and require the applicant to submit all evidence supporting their claim for benefits within 5 days of the hearing. No post hearing evidence would be allowed as is now permitted.
While, on the face of it, these proposals sound reasonable, the proposed rules would discourage unreprsented cllaimants. Nancy Cavey, executive Director of the National Organizations of Social Security Representatives (NOSSCR) was quoted in an interview with Alex Wayne, House Democrats Oppose Proposed Social Security Claims Policy, http://cqpolitics.com, as saying the new rules would discourage the “unrepresented claimant- from appealing a denial of benefits… about a third of those who appeal do not hire lawyers.”
Rather than hire staff and Administrative Law Judges to deal with the back log of 750,00 cases, which is the largest in our history, the proposed rule would hinder an applicants ability to submit evidence. As a result, denials will only increase. This proposed rule underscores the need for all applicants to have representation in the social security disability claims process.
Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.