I hear from every client their disbelief of the wait time to receive a hearing on their Social Security Disability appeal. It is frightening for folks who have no income or limited income and can’t function normally or work. However, it is also a reality. And, it is not just the Harrisburg Office of Adjudication and Review, which will handle your Social Security Disability appeal, that has the backlog wait time. It is a national problem.
Here are the current numbers for a social security disability appeal. (As of July 2016)
|HEARING LOCATION||HEARING WAIT TIME|
|Elkins Park, PA||20.0 Months|
|Philadelphia East||20 Months|
|Seven Field, PA||18 Months|
|Wilkes Barre||16.5 Months|
|Pennsylvania State Average||19.3 Months|
|Baltimore, MD||21 Months|
|NHC Baltimore||19 Months|
|Maryland State Average||20 Months|
As you can see, the Harrisburg ODAR office is trending right near the Pennsylvania state average, but above the National average. There may be some relief in sight though. Harrisburg has recently added three new Administrative Law Judges, which should help reduce the wait time to around the National average. Bottom line is, even with new ALJ’s on the way, if you have been denied Social Security Disability and you appeal, you SHOULD NOT expect to have a hearing for at least 16 months.
Another misnomer out there is that being awarded Social Security Disability benefits is pretty easy. That’s just not accurate. In fact, it is more difficult to win and appeal in Harrisburg than it is in the rest of Pennsylvania or nationally. Here are the approval rates based on the table listed above.
|HEARING LOCATION||APPROVAL RATES|
|Pennsylvania State Average||42%|
|NHC Baltimore, MD||45%|
|Maryland State Average||44%|
As you can see above, the Harrisburg office falls below the Pennsylvania state average and the National average. That essentially means that it is header to win Social Security Disability benefits in front of an Administrative Law Judge in Harrisburg than it is in the rest of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and even the Nation as a whole.
Give the low rate of success, it is absolutely critical for your case to make sure you have strong representation on your side. At Mooney & Associates, you will get that strong representation. We have an excellent approval success rate because we take the time to thoroughly review your medical records, discuss your disabilities in depth with you, position your case for success, better strengthen your medical impairment evidence, and define the strong legal arguments we need to win your disability case.
With 13 offices along South Central Pennsylvania, we represent Social Security Disability clients throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. We have staffed offices in Chambersburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, York, Hanover, and Gettysburg. Additionally, we can meet clients at our other locations in Mercersburg, Greencastle, Shippensburg, Duncannon, Halifax, Stewartstown, and Lancaster. For our Maryland clients, you can simply call us for a FREE consultation and to schedule your FREE intake over the phone. We would also be happy to meet our Hagerstown, Maryland clients in our new Greencastle office, coming in September. Going to your hearing and representing yourself leads to those low approval percentages. You get ONE shot. So position yourself the best you can. Call Mooney & Associates today at 717-200-HURT or 1-877-632-4656 or email me direct at [email protected].