After My Request for Reconsideration was Denied, I Filed a Request for an Administrative Hearing. What Happens Next?
After you request an administrative hearing, your Vermont Social Security disability attorney will receive communication from the administrative law judge’s (ALJ) assistant notifying you of the date, time, and location of the hearing. Your attorney will have an opportunity to request a change to the hearing date if the assigned date is not compatible with his or her schedule. Once the date is finalized, your attorney will notify you of the date, and you will later receive a Notice of Hearing from the ALJ. If you receive the Notice of Hearing before you hear from your lawyer, you should immediately make your lawyer aware that you received the Notice.
There is a great deal of variation from case to case regarding the time between when you request a hearing and when you obtain a decision from the ALJ. The national average is 15.5 months, but the timeframe changes depending on the state in which you live. In the district that covers Vermont, delays of over a year are common.
After your hearing, it usually takes an ALJ about 2-3 months to issue a decision. If you are awarded benefits, you should expect a lapse of an additional 2-3 months before current benefits start being paid. Any back benefits you are owed usually start getting paid within 1-6 months after the decision is issued.
Many claimants become frustrated by the relatively drawn-out process of obtaining an administrative hearing. Unfortunately, there is little you or your Vermont Social Security disability attorney can do to speed up the process. You should take advantage of the extra time by making sure you are prepared for the hearing. Obtain necessary medical evidence, be familiar with your work history and the history of your impairment, and stay in communication with your Vermont Social Security disability attorney in case he or she needs your assistance preparing evidence for the hearing. Since the hearing process will likely last more than a year, you’ll want to make sure you make your best effort to obtain benefits at the hearing to prevent the necessity for another appeal to the Appeals Council.
If you need an attorney to assist you to obtain benefits, please contact Vermont Social Security disability attorney Mitchell. L. Pearl.