Expedite Your Social Security Claim with an Attorney Advisor
The Attorney Advisor Program allows certain staff attorneys at the Social Security Administration (SSA) to conduct prehearing proceedings and issue fully favorable decisions on the record (OTR) when appropriate, without the need for an administrative hearing. This program can be useful for claimants age 50 or older, or those facing life-threatening illness. Attorney advisors can expedite a social security case review and potentially allow the claimant to receive their social security benefits months sooner than a case handled in the traditional manner.
Social Security Claims and the Attorney Advisor Program
The Attorney Advisor Program was originally enacted as a two-year temporary program in 2007 and has been extended ever since. An attorney advisor may issue a fully favorable OTR decision when the severity of a claimant’s impairment meets a prescribed listing level, or when the impairment precludes a claimant 50 years of age or older from doing their regular work and leaves them unable to adjust to work that is less physically demanding. If an attorney advisor issues a fully favorable decision, then the case will be awarded and closed. If a fully favorable decision cannot be reached, the attorney advisor will document the reasons, and the case will proceed to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
Does your Social Security Claim Meet Criteria?
On the record decisions issued by attorney advisors are one component of SSA’s Compassionate and Responsive Service (CARES) backlog-reduction plan. Unfortunately, even though the program has been extended, backlogs prevent most staff attorneys from reviewing potential expedited decisions on their own. However, if your claim meets the criteria, your Bailey & Galyen attorney can prepare and draft the request for your claim to be reviewed by an administrative law judge or an attorney advisor ahead of a scheduled hearing. By calling attention to your claim early, and submitting written legal arguments, your Bailey & Galyen attorney can overcome the staffing shortfalls at Social Security and potentially reduce your wait for a favorable outcome by several months.
The Attorney Advisor Program is only one of the tools an experienced Bailey & Galyen attorney can utilize to shorten the wait for a favorable outcome at Social Security. Of course, not every claim will qualify. A careful analysis of each case must be undertaken to determine if an expedited evaluation is appropriate or possible. If you’re over the age of 50, we encourage you to contact our office to determine whether your social security claim is eligible for expedited processing.
Now more than ever, it is crucial that you have an experienced, knowledgeable attorney working for you when applying for disability benefits. If you are hurt, injured, or incapacitated, and find yourself unable to work, contact Bailey & Galyen for a free case evaluation