Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Filing for Social Security Disability Hearings in Chicago

The article linked below states several things of interest. First, that social security disability and SSI disability claims are taking a fairly long time in the northwest and, second, that a request for a disability hearing in chicago can take as long as 20 months. I wasn't shocked about this statistic in the least. However, the author of the article might be shocked to learn that in various parts of the country, the wait times for disability hearings are actually longer. And in my own part of the country, in a city far less populated, the time required to wait for an ALJ (administrative law judge) disability hearing is closer to 24 months.

Why are the wait times so long? The article cites the following reasons: funding, workloads, and a shortage of judges. Regarding the last, this is something I've noticed about these news articles. They really love to focus on the number of ALJs and the perceived shortage of them. I wish just once they would mention the fact that the hearing offices need more staff.

You can't really expect journalists to understand how the system works, but the truth is, without the necessary staff to work up the files and get them ready for hearings, it wouldn't matter if you doubled the number of disability judges. All it would mean is that you would have more judges and less work per judge---because judges can't hold hearings for cases that have not been made ready for hearing. And that requires hearing office staff.

Disability benefit delays in Northwest

Other Posts:
Apply for disability
Approved for disability
Social Security Disability Appeal