Social Security Hearings and Dire Need

More often than not, after an individual has received a denial letter from Social Security they will be faced with the prospect of going to a court hearing. Depending on where you live, the wait time for the hearing can be a year or more.

There are several methods available to shorten this wait, one of which is called a dire needs request. This is essentially a pleading sent to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, where all hearings are held, advising the court that the individual applying for disability meets certain criteria. Some criteria are financial, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction or an inability to pay for basis necessities. Other criteria may relate to medical need, suicidal or homicidal ideations, where the applicant is at risk for injury, or those around the applicant.

If the applicant is homeless, this too is a criteria for a dire needs request. A simple statement from a shelter or witnesses to the homelessness is all that is required.

If the Social Security hearing office finds good cause exists, the case will be moved up the court’s docket for an expedited hearing, usually within a month or two.

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