The SSA experimented with removing the reconsideration appeal level in 10 “proto-type states” for the last few years. Claimant’s living in these states were able to file a request for hearing immediately after receiving their initial denial. The elimination of the additional layer of appeal allowed claimant’s to have their cases heard in front of judges more quickly. However, the SSA is now repealing the program despite concerns from claimants and their representatives. The National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives has long supported the elimination of the reconsideration step of the disability process and devoting the resources to improve decisions made at the initial level. However, despite the opposition, the SSA is moving forward with reinstituting the reconsideration level by 2019.
This decision while not directly affecting Texas claimant’s, shatters hopes that the program would have been expanded thereby reducing the average claimant’s wait time for a disability determination.
As it stands now, processing times for the major hearing offices in Texas are as follows:
Ft. Worth – 505 days
Dallas Downtown – 522 days
Dallas North 407 Days
Houston North – 359 days
Houston – Bissonnet – 617 days
San Antonio – 478 days
These figures represent how long it takes for a claimant requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge to receive a decision on their disability. Now more than ever, it is imperative that you have an experienced, qualified and hardworking representative on your side when applying for disability. An experienced Bailey & Galyen attorney can make sure your paperwork and medical records are submitted timely, thereby eliminating wasteful delays and helping expedite your claim. If you are hurt, injured or otherwise impaired and unable to work, please contact us at Bailey & Galyen for a free case evaluation.