Social Security was implemented under President Roosevelt in 1935. Millions of Americans pay into the Social Security system each year, which provides benefits to retirees, disabled persons, and the families of disabled, retired or deceased workers. Unfortunately, for those seeking benefits on the basis of disability, the average wait time for Social Security in Indiana and nationwide is excessively long.
Managing the Wait Time for Social Security in Indiana
Many disabled workers and their families suffer the burdens of financial insecurity while they work through the Social Security process. A Social Security attorney can assist your family in navigating the application and hearing process and help you get the benefits to which you are entitled as quickly as possible.
Disability Defined under US Social Security Law
According to statistics published in 2016, more than 10 million Americans receive Social Security disability benefits. The recipients have met the statutory definition of “disability,” which is “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”
What Is the Wait Time for Social Security in Indiana and across the US?
Because of how many millions of Americans are dependent, it’s ignominious that the national average wait time for a hearing with the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO)—formerly the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR)—is 13.4 months as of June 2019. The hearing wait time refers to the time between the date the hearing was requested to when the hearing is actually held. OHO is the office that conducts hearings for Social Security disability as well as Supplemental Security Income. Arizona has the longest national average wait time at 19.7 months for hearing.
Comparatively, Indiana is slightly below the national average hearing wait time. Indiana’s average for Social Security disability cases approved is 43 percent, which is slightly above the national average of 42 percent, while Indiana’s average for cases dismissed is less than the national at 15 percent. If your Social Security disability claim has been delayed or denied, the right disability lawyers in Indiana can assist you in understanding and pursuing your next course of action.
Indiana OHO Offices
Disability lawyers in Indiana should have experience in the area of Social Security and be familiar with the local OHO offices. The Indiana OHO offices in the following locations:
- Evansville, with 7 judges;
- Fort Wayne, with 7 judges;
- Valparaiso, with 12 judges; and
- Indianapolis, with 14 judges.
In the Indianapolis office, the hearing wait time for Social Security is above the national average, at around 17.4 months.
The Right Social Security Attorney Can Help You Manage the Wait Time for Social Security in Indiana
If a claim is initially denied, the Social Security appeals process can begin. The claimant will have 60 days to file a request for reconsideration; if the reconsideration is denied, then the claimant has 60 days to request a hearing with one of the Indiana OHO offices. After an adverse decision at the OHO hearing, the claimant only has 60 days to file an appeal.
However, there are several circumstances that would allow a claimant to file an appeal after the period expired. If the appeal is within 12 months of notice of the initial determination, it can be for any reason; if the appeal is within four years after the notice it will require good cause.
Filing for Social Security benefits involves unique intricacies; thus, it’s advisable to seek disability lawyers in Indiana to better help explain not only the law but also recommend the appropriate course of action.
You can trust that a Social Security attorney from Camden & Meridew, P.C. will be experienced in Social Security law, will be happy to answer any questions that arise regarding benefits, and will work to help you minimize the wait time for Social Security in Indiana. Learn more by calling Corey Meridew at 317-770-0000 or completing our online contact form today.
This website supplies general information about the law but it is provided for informational purposes only. This content does not create an attorney-client relationship and more importantly is not meant to constitute legal advice. You should not act on any of the information contained herein without first consulting an attorney.