|Natalia Jofre:||Welcome to Hill and Ponton’s Social Security Disability Blog. I’m Natalia Jofre, the Director for Social Security Section.|
|Shelly Mark:||And I’m Shelly Mark, I’m the Senior Social Security Attorney.|
|Natalia Jofre:||So in our last blog we talked about whose at a hearing, how long it takes to get there, the different people that can attend the hearing and then here comes the end of the actual hearing and people think the judge is gonna hit the hammer and is gonna say, “You’re getting disability,” or “You’re not.” People also mistakenly believe that this is a lifetime benefit, we can get into that some of time but are you normally gonna get a decision that day?|
|Shelly Mark:||No, I would say less than five percent of the time do we actually get a decision that day and even in the cases, the five percent that we get a decision, that’s really just the judge telling us. It’s not like they hand us a written decision. Either way, you have to wait approximately 60 days to get the written decision from the judge. Now, that’s just the judge’s decision, that’s not a payment and then once you get the decision, of course, you’ll know whether it was a favorable or unfavorable and depending on that, what step would be next.|
|Natalia Jofre:||And Social Security, they’ll be the first to tell you, first of all, the judge will tell you it’ll be about 60 days before you get a decision in writing, whatever. Nothing happens until you get that decision in writing. The other thing is the Hearing Office will tell you the judge said 60 days but don’t call us before 90 days.|
|Shelly Mark:||That’s true.|
|Natalia Jofre:||Because sometimes they have their own backlogs and so after the judge makes his decision, it has to go to an actual decision writer, they write out all the legalese, then the judge reviews it, then he signs off on it. And that brings me to another point that when you get that decision, like we review our decisions very thoroughly, even if it says at the top, full favorable decision or unfavorable decision. And we’ll cover that in another blog. We have to verify that, the date that they were actually claiming they were disabled from is the date that’s referenced, that, that’s the date that was approved, did that date differ, when are they gonna be entitled to benefits, are they saying that they need to be reviewed within 24 months or whatever? So the decision itself contains a lot of information and some people mistakenly kind of take it at face value, where you have to really know how to review it thoroughly to make sure that everything you were asking for is actually being awarded, right?|
|Shelly Mark:||Exactly. Yeah, there’s a whole lot of information in the decision and it needs to be reviewed very thoroughly because there are a lot of … There can be a lot of variances compared to what you’re actually asking for to what you’re ultimately ending up within the judge’s decision. Also, what Natalia said about why does it take the 60 to 90 days? People always ask and that’s exactly right, it’s that it goes from the judge to a decision writer and they draft a decision, your decision will be an analysis of all the evidence in the file and then the judge has to sign off on it. So it is a bit of a back and forth.|
|Natalia Jofre:||And then they’ll be the first to tell you that once the judge actually makes the decision and you receive it, then it doesn’t stay with the Hearing Office. Then it goes to an out-of-state payment center, if it’s for regular disability benefits for them to calculate your benefits and pay them or if it is SSI only or SSI is involved, it’s gonna go to the local office. And sometimes it gets split, sometimes it goes to the local office and then to the payment center. So all of this adds to your wait time.|
|Shelly Mark:||Right. Absolutely.|
|Natalia Jofre:||It’s not I get a decision today or I get a decision 90 days from now and then I gotta wait to get paid. We help people navigate that, we know based on their social security number where it’s gonna go, how long it’s gonna take, what they need to get in order to process it may be a little bit more quickly but it’s not fast unfortunately, nothing in social security is.|
|Shelly Mark:||Unfortunately not and I think it’s important to make sure that somebody that knows how to read those decisions is reviewing it for you to make sure that everything is what it should be.|
|Natalia Jofre:||So, in our next blog, we’ll talk about what happens if you get a fully favorable decision. And so we’ll do that next time.|
|Natalia Jofre:||All right.|
|Shelly Mark:||Thank you.|
|Natalia Jofre:||If you have any questions in the meantime, visit our website or call our office. Otherwise, we’ll see you then. Thanks.|
|Shelly Mark:||Great, thanks.|
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