Suppose your valid Social Security Disability claim is denied today, and you appeal that denial. How long will it be before your hearing is held in Upstate South Carolina? The wait could be up to 16 months! That is nearly a year and a half – on average – that you’ll have to wait before your appeal is heard, regardless of the validity of your need.
That bracing statistic is accurate as of December 2014 and can be found in the Social Security Administration’s online Public Data Files. The Average Wait Time Until Hearing Held Report presents the average number of months from the hearing request date until a hearing is held for claims pending in local hearing offices across the country.
The 16-month wait is for the Greenville, South Carolina office, which is where your hearing would be held if you reside in Spartanburg or Anderson County, S.C. The 16-month wait is the sixth longest nationwide and is shared by 16 other offices. The longest average wait as of December was 22 months for the Fort Myers, Florida office.
Another public report says the Greenville office had 9,202 cases pending as of December 26 with an average processing time of 530 days, which is explained elsewhere as the average number of days until final disposition of the hearing request. Here again, the Greenville office is among the worst performers in terms of time spent on an appeal; it ranks 14th from the bottom among 163 offices.
These reports illustrate why you will benefit from experienced and knowledgeable assistance if you have a Social Security Disability claim.
It is not unusual for a valid SSD claim to be denied initially. Often it is because of a technical issue. For instance, required forms may be missing, or records in the application may have conflicting information. Sometimes a claims reviewer simply decides you do not qualify. There is no way to know ahead of time whether your claim for Social Security Disability benefits will be approved.
How To Get Help With Your Claim
The Grimes Teich Anderson legal team can review your claim package before it is submitted or before a hearing to make sure it is complete and accurate. We can help you obtain missing information, including your medical reports, which are necessary to prove you have an impairment the SSA considers severe enough to prevent you from doing any gainful activity. We can accompany you to a hearing and advocate for you.
If you are like most people seeking SSD benefits, being disabled is a whole new world to you. In addition to meeting your medical needs, suddenly you must learn the ins and outs of the Social Security Administration, one of the largest bureaucracies in the world.