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Why The Delay?

One of the most common questions presented to our office by our Social Security clients is: “Why does it take so long to get my case heard?” Simply put, the reason lies with the backlogs at the offices where the hearings take place. In Social Security terms these offices are called “ODAR” (Office of Disability Adjudication and Review). The National Ranking Report recently published an updated list of processing time rankings for ODAR offices. Those of you living in Maryland, D.C., and Southern Florida may be shocked. Processing time for Baltimore is 347 days (Rank 79), for Washington 398 (Rank 117) and for Miami 414 (Rank 127). This means, for example, that when a claimant in Baltimore files a request for hearing and the file is transferred to the Baltimore ODAR, the case will take approximately 347 days before it is even heard by an Administrative Law Judge. Unfortunately, the wait still continues thereafter as decisions have to be issued in writing – a process that can take weeks or even months.

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