Though it does not happen often, sometimes a claimant will leave her hearing knowing for certain that she has won her case. This can occur, for example, if a medical expert finds that she has met a listing. Or, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may simply state that he is going to find in the claimant's favor. It is always welcome news to find out Social Security is going to approve your disability claim. But, the work is not over yet.
Even if the facts of the case make it clear a claimant has won, that claimant still has to wait for the ALJ to put his decision down on paper. Not surprisingly, this means more delay. Currently, the wait to get a written decision following a hearing is at least two and sometimes three or more months. During this time, the winning claimant is in limbo. Nothing is going to happen without the written decision.
Get A Savings Account
That does not mean, however, that the claimant cannot put this waiting time to some use. For example, a claimant could go out and set up a bank account. This will allow Social Security to establish direct deposit of the monthly benefits into that account.
Start Gathering Relevant Paperwork
If a claimant expects to get SSI benefits, she could gather paperwork covering the period from when her disability began. Social Security is going to want to know if the claimant had any earnings during that time. They will also want to know if someone else has been paying the claimant's rent or providing
her food. If the claimant has an agreement to pay back any help someone has been providing, now would be the time to find a copy of that agreement to show to Social Security. This would also be the time to gather any records pertaining to any other benefits the claimant might be receiving. This would include workers compensation or longterm disability through work.
Make Time Work For You
No one likes to wait, but by using the time efficiently, a claimant can take some of the frustration out of the dead-time. Being prepared means that once the ALJ does issue his decision, Social Security can pay benefits sooner.