Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pace of decisions and scheduling of hearings will improve.

In the new year I think you can expect quicker decisions and more hearings being scheduled for Social Security Disability and SSI claims. In the past this has always been a very active time of year. Also many of the SSA initiatives to speed up the process are close to full swing. I have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of hearings scheduled for the new year. There are many reasons I am predicting this. First, SSA's e-file program has been started in all states and many of the case are now in electronic format. Second, SSA made a real push this year to get the really old cases done before the new year which hopefully will get them back on track for reasonable wait times for the rest of the cases. Third, SSA has brought back a program that allows attorneys at SSA to make favorable decisions at the hearing level before they are even scheduled for a hearing. I have noticed in my practice that I have been getting much more of these recently. Fourth, SSA has initiated a quick determination process for really strong cases that has shown to be successful in getting out quick decision in obvious cases. Lastly, the holidays are almost over and SSA employees will start to get back into the swing of things. Hopefully, I am right and you will all hear something soon.