It’s no secret that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a massive backlog of disability claims waiting to be reviewed and claimants waiting their turn in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) for a hearing. Every year, thousands die while waiting to have their day in court — and thousands more keep on waiting. In 2018, for example, the average wait time for a hearing has ballooned to 540 days.
Right now, with normal operations suspended in government offices around the country, you may be worried about how to keep your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim moving along as smoothly as possible. The answer is to keep doing what you’re supposed to be doing — as diligently as possible.
That means you should:
- Keep SSA informed about changes in your condition or treating sources. If you have new information that needs to be passed onto SSA, call the number you were given for the claims examiner assigned to your case and leave a message.
- When possible, mail copies of your medical records to the claims examiner assigned to your claim. Keep a copy for yourself, however, just in case the records go missing.
- Make sure that you respond to any contact from the agency. You may be asked to participate in a consultative examination with a doctor or simply asked more questions about your daily activities on a form. Always respond to all letters or calls.
- Make sure that you keep the agency updated on your location. If SSA loses track of you, your claim could be denied. Make sure that SSA always has your current address and phone number on file.
Much of your concerns can be alleviated with the help of an experienced SSD attorney. They can serve as the contact point for your claim and make sure that you never miss any important communications. If you’re struggling to get your disability claim approved, an attorney may be able to help.