I am frequently asked if a person really has to wait over a year for a hearing on their claim for Social Security Disability benefits.
I just had a lady walk into my office today and ask me this question. I’m not even representing her. She was just on her way to the hearing aid place in our building and thought she’d ask another attorney because she didn’t believe the representative she had.
The usual answer to “Do I really have to wait?” is yes. Hearing offices in different cities have different wait times. In Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN it’s taking about 16 – 18 months or so to receive a hearing date. Kingsport, TN is taking a little less.
However, there are some situations where a person may not have to wait that long. Usually the reason a person doesn’t have to wait in line for a hearing is not a good one. It’s not a reason a person would want to have.
One of my clients has one of those reasons.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Had bilateral mastectomies. Radiation. Chemotherapy. Reconstructive surgeries. Among other problems, she has severe neuropathy due to the chemo. That’s how she spent 2013 – 2014. Not a good time.
Fast forward to this year.
She began having confusion. Problems finding words she wanted to use. Problems with her speech.
An MRI of her brain showed a tumor that doctors think may have metastasized from the breast cancer. They also found other masses in her body.
We ordered and submitted these medical records to the hearing office. I also wrote a letter explaining why her case could be approved without a hearing . . . . . . or at least why her hearing needed to be held faster.
The hearing office agreed.
And today I got to call my client and tell her that her claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been approved and she did not have to wait and she did not have to go to a hearing.
But as you can tell, the reason she did not have to wait in line was not a happy one.
But – she IS a fighter and I KNOW she can WIN this battle!!