Ortega Disability Group

Final Decision Delays After a Disability Hearing Request

If you are familiar with the Social Security process, you know how long it takes for decisions to be made following a hearing. There are long periods in which the judge has to take his or her time in issuing decisions once the hearing is finished.

The Delays

Many claimants have to wait six months to hear a decision from the judge. These delayed decisions occur even if, during the hearing, it is insinuated that the judge will come to a favorable decision and the claimant will receive benefits.

Waiting on the results of a hearing is particularly stressful for those in need of essential funds which are directly dependent on the outcome. Claimants frequently endure a long waiting period before obtaining resources through the Social Security appeals process, so what is the hold-up?

The Hold-Up

There are many different factors that can cause a delay in the decision making process after a Social Security hearring. Social Security lawyers in Oakland have narrowed it down to the following:

  • Budget Cuts/Freezes: When there are freezes and budget cuts, the result is a reduction in the number of attorney staff and decision writers. These people help judges prepare decisions. When they are not in the same locations as judges, or positions are not filled, delays are unavoidable.
  • More Details: Social Security Administration (SSA) personnel tell judges how to write out unfavorable decisions in a way that is easily defensible. This means that when claimants and their lawyers decide to appeal claim denials, it becomes a bit more difficult.
  • “FIT” Not In Use: “FIT” is a software program that shortens the time before receiving a favorable decision after a hearing. However, the software is frowned upon as it is not promoted as a good judicial practice by the SSA directive.
  • No SSA Senior Staff Attorneys: SSA senior staff attorneys used to be able to approve appeal claims to resolve a case, sometimes even before a hearing. However, this program has been suspended by the SSA for unknown reasons.

Contact Us Today

Our Social Security lawyers serving Oakland know how frustrating applying for benefits or going through the appeals process can be. Contact Ortega Disability Group today, and see how our SSD and SSI attorneys in Oakland, CA can help you get the benefits you deserve.

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