Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Can an attorney help me speed up my appeal time?

It's no secret that if a Mobile, Alabama, resident files a request for disability benefits, then they are in for a long wait. There is still a backlog of cases that can mean a person will have to wait months or even years before they have the opportunity to explain why they are entitled to benefits.

Having an attorney help with one's application for Social Security disability benefits can, under the right facts and circumstances, help a person get through the process of having a hearing in front of an administrative law judge more quickly.

For example, making sure that an application is complete and supported by all relevant medical evidence, and organized in a readable fashion, is one way to make a review go more quickly. Likewise, answering any question from the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, promptly appealing a denial also reduces wait times.

One other option is that an attorney can submit a request that the client's case be handled on the basis of "dire need." In other words, if a person can show that he or she will lose valuable medical assistance or be unable to keep living in habitable home without benefits, then they may be able to get an administrative appeal of a denial handled on a priority basis. Even if this technique does work, it does not mean the person will get benefits; only that they will get a decision one way or the other more quickly.

There are other things an attorney can do to help speed up administrative appeals as well, For instance, in the right type of case, an attorney may ask the administrative law judge to issue a bench decision, that is, a decision that does not include a detailed legal analysis. While not right for every case, an attorney may also convince the judge to hear an appeal on the record. In this sort of review, a judge will just consider documentary evidence, meaning there is no need to wait several months for a hearing.

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