Applying for Social Security benefits is a daunting task. From the very outset, if you’ve applied for Social Security benefits, your suffering from some form of physical or mental disability which limits or prevents you from working, and you are likely experiencing severe financial strain because of your disability. Social Security disability benefits are designed to be the net that catches you from these circumstances, but often, the slow and cumbersome process of applying for benefits allows too many people to slip through the net while they are essentially told to “hurry up and wait.”
From the outset, when applying for Social Security benefits the claimant is facing a low chance of approval at the initial filing stage, with current estimates showing that only about 33% of applications are approved upon initial filing. Because so few applications are approved at the initial stage, the great majority of claimants must file a request for reconsideration, which are routinely denied, followed by request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). But perhaps even more daunting than the low approval rate is the wait time for a hearing before an ALJ.
Currently, for the Mobile office, which services much of North West Florida, the wait time is nearly 18 months from the date of filing a request for a hearing and when the hearing is held. When you add in the three to four months to get through the initial filing, and the request for reconsideration stages, plus an additional three to four months it will take the ALJ to make a decision after the hearing, the average claimant is looking at a more than two year wait for a decision on their claim for Social Security benefits. Obviously, such a long wait often causes increased financial strain, which often results in the claimant’s inability to continue seeking medical treatment, leading to an exasperation of their disabilities.
Here, at the Law Office of J.J. Talbott, P.A., we have extensive experience in navigating the Social Security system, and we understand the challenges you face when filing a claim for benefits. Our offices are equipped with video conference equipment which allows us to conduct Social Security hearings from the comfort of our offices, rather than having to travel to the Social Security office. In addition to the convenience of being able to conduct hearings from our offices, the Social Security Administration has informed us that our hearings are scheduled more quickly because we don’t have to wait for a hearing room at the Social Security office. If you have a Social Security claim pending, contact us to discuss what we can do to get your benefits approved as quickly as possible.