Thursday, February 10, 2011

The latest data on Social Security appeals and judges

If you are wondering how long it may take to obtain a hearing once you appeal the answer depends on where you live. It is reported that in Colorado Springs the delay to a hearing or disposition is 431 days. While they have been trying for years to speed up the process over a year remains a long time to wait. An attorney may use that time to obtain more reports or assessments but the wait is still too long for many people. In Puerto Rico the wait is shorter. In one office (Mayaguez, PR) the wait is 177 days. Then again in Lansing Michigan you can take 566 days to a disposition. Yet have the claim in Livonia Michigan and the wait is 257 days. Seems not that complicated to smooth all this out but apparently it has been tough to achieve. Waiting too long is much tougher on the disabled so wish they'd get it right. I realize it can be a matter of staffing and numbers but when video hearings are now permitted I fail to see why such a huge variance is tolerated. Last you can look up the latest figures for any judge at the website that compiles this data. You can look up what each judge in Colorado Springs is doing with the cases he or she is handling. What I saw in the latest stats is that 4 out of the 5 judges are somewhat more favorable to claimants and one is statistically denying more claims then issuing favorable or partially favorable decisions. We all know that statistics can be misleading and the types of cases a judge may be involved in can make a difference. The problem is when we discuss the odds we have to say its 50 50 but for some judges your odds are over 60% of obtaining an award. No question the older you are and the more restricted you are the better your chances but each case requires a very individualized approach.

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