Social Security is reporting an overall increase in average hearing processing times to nearly a year in 2013. That means, if you file an appeal of the initial denial of your Social Security Disability Claim or Supplemental Security Income Claim, it may take you a year or more to get your case heard by a Social Security judge.
In addition, Social Security reports that the number of appeals is up and that disability examiners are denying a higher percentage of claims at all levels of the process.
Although a claimant may represent himself or herself at a hearing, your odds of getting a “fully favorable opinion,” which means approval of your claim, from a Social Security judge, are much better if you are represented by an attorney specializing in this area of the law. If your initial claim is denied, you have 60 days to file an appeal and request a hearing. At this point in time, you should contact an attorney to explain the appeal process and represent you at your hearing.