Even if San Diego residents have an illness or injury that prevents them from working, there is still a possibility that a claim for Social Security Disability benefits will get denied, at least in the initial stages. What this means is that California residents who are applying for SSD benefits should be fully prepared for the possibility that they will need to ask for a review hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The problem with these hearings is that they get scheduled weeks or even months out. Some people may even need to wait over a year for a hearing.
There are ways in which a person can try to speed this process up. As a caveat, though, none of these methods is a guaranteed means of getting a decision faster. Moreover, there are legal risks involved.
One method a California resident’s attorney may choose to speed up the process is what is called a “dire need” letter. As the name implies, an applicant’s attorney can ask for an expedited review if the applicant is in danger of losing a home or access to critical medical benefits unless the applicant qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits. If the letter gets accepted, then the case will move to the top of stack of cases awaiting review.
Another tactic an attorney may use is a request for a review on-the-record. What this means is that the administrative law judge will not hold a hearing at all, but instead make a decision based on the documented evidence in front of him. The risk is that if the judge decides against the applicant, then that happens without the judge hearing the applicant describe the condition and explain how it prevents the applicants from working.