Parmele Law Firm: What Happens After a Disability Hearing?

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Judge reviewing a Parmele Law Firm disability case

Parmele Law Firm: Disability Hearing Review

By Felicia Von Holten Mitchell

Attorney, PLF

After a hearing, my clients at Parmele Law Firm usually ask “how long until I receive my decision?”  My typical response is that on average it takes about 90 days to receive a decision. My client usually asks “why does it take so long?” This question is not always the easiest to answer.

Disability Hearing Review Process

After a hearing is complete, the Judge usually will review all of the evidence, including medical records, third party statements, physician opinions, and the client’s testimony.  After reviewing everything, one of two things usually happens. First, the Judge will decide that there is not enough information so the Judge will want to send the client for a consultative exam. If this is the case, the decision will be further delayed. A consultative exam entails the client going to a doctor, paid for by Social Security, and the doctor examining the client. The doctor will then write a report and send it to the Judge and to the disability attorney. The Judge allows the attorney time to review the report and submit additional evidence or request another hearing to gain additional information. This process will also delay the decision. How long it will delay the decision will depend on how quickly the doctor can set up an appointment.  It will also depend how fast the doctor can submit a report. This can add on another 90 days to the timeframe.

If the Judge feels there is enough evidence, then the Judge will then write a decision. However, this is not the end of the process.  The Judge can write a decision up the following day, which normally doesn’t happen, but if it did,  the decision still could take 90 days to actually get to the client. The reason for this is the Judge is not the final step in the decision making process.  The Judge is just step one.  After the Judge makes a decision, the decision is then sent to the decision writers who will formally write up the decision. Afterwards, the decision has to be processed through Social Security. After it is processed, it will be sent out to you.

If you receive a favorable decision, you will not automatically start receiving payments. That takes additional time. After the decision gets processed, the information is sent to the financial side of the Social Security Administration. The financial people will have to process everything in order for you to actually receive your benefits. To a certain extend, your disability attorney and the Judge do not have any control over this process.

Contact Parmele Law Firm

If you have more specific questions about Social Security disability claims process or questions about a specific case, please contact Parmele Law Firm. Our consultations are completely free and we would be happy to meet with you to discuss your case.