Many of my clients are very frustrated by the extraordinary delays in getting Social Security to process their claims. The most frustrated people I deal with, though, are the ones who have seen some other claimant get approved in a shorter time. I got one of those calls today from a lovely women who has always been very patient. But a story she heard took her to the breaking point. A friend told my client that she had gotten her disability claim approved in less than one year. This supposedly included going all the way through the process, including seeing a judge. My client, in case you hadn't already guessed, has been waiting well more than one year just to see a judge. The woman who got approved so quickly was urging my client to fire me and hire her lawyer. To her credit, my client did not do that. Rather, she called to see if I could explain the difference in the time to process the two claims.
I could not explain how Social Security approved this woman in less than a year. My suspicion is that there was a lot more to the story than I knew. That's one of the problems with these second-hand tales of success. It could be that Social Security approved this woman during the initial application phase. That would fit the timeline. Or, perhaps this woman had some reason for Social Security to move her case up in the queue. This could include things like being evicted. The problem being that there is no way for me to know what happened in this other case. So that leaves my client angry and unsatisfied.
Would switching lawyers make my client case go faster? The short answer is no. Unless these other lawyers are bribing Social Security, there is no way for them to process their claims any faster than I process mine. Social Security is simply hopelessly behind. No matter if you have me or Atticus Finch as your lawyer, your case is going to take a very long time.
It is for this reason that I do not tell people there is anything I can do to make their cases go faster. The last thing I want to do is give these already-frustrated people one more reason to be angry. I have zero influence over how quickly Social Security processes disability claims. I cannot call my "contact" at Social Security and get you moved up. I cannot call in favor with a judge and speed your claim along. And neither can anyone else. If some lawyer tells you that she can move your case faster than other lawyers, she is lying. If a lawyer starts out lying to you, do you think that you will be able to trust her as your case progresses?
No One Can Make Social Security Process Disability Claims Faster. No One.
I understand how frustrated people are as the days turn into months and then into years while they wait for Social Security to act. But, for now, that is the system we have. If there was any way at all to help my clients get their cases heard sooner, you can be sure I would be doing it.
So, if you think changing lawyers is a good idea, please do. But, do not change lawyers because you think the next one is going to get your case moving faster. That cannot and will not happen. If you want to make a real difference, call your Senator and demand that the government give Social Security the money they need to work down the backlog of cases.
In the meantime, if you are frustrated and angry about how long Social Security is taking with your claim, feel free to call or email. I can't make things go faster, but I can listen and assure you that we are, however slowly, getting closer.