Social Security has announced a new way of scheduling its Social Security disability hearings using a centralized scheduling unit.
At a NOSSCR event, we learned about some of the upcoming changes happening and how they affect Social Security disability claims. Disability attorney, Chad Delesk, explains in detail about this new centralized scheduling unit system and what it means for disability claimants.
Hi. I’m Chad Delesk. I’m one of the attorneys here at at Balin Law. We recently attended a NOSSCR semi-annual event. It was in new Orleans. NOSSCR is an organization that a lot of these Social Security attorneys are members of. That stands for the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives. Basically, it’s three or four days worth of classes and seminars where we can go in and learn new things and brush up on things that maybe we need to revisit. But one of the things that I want to talk about was a new way that Social Security is scheduling their hearing.
Normally in the judicatory process, the third step is to have a hearing in front of an ALJ. Typically, at least as far back as I can remember, what would happen is each individual hearing office, so for us primarily the Cleveland hearing office and the Akron hearing office, they had one individual there that would contact us. And maybe on a monthly basis they would call and they would schedule all of our hearings for three months out.
Social Security Centralized Scheduling Unit
So they might be calling now and then scheduling for January and we’d be able to work with them on a one on one basis and schedule hearings with different ALJs and vocational experts based upon our availability. Well, now Social Security has decided to create what they call a centralized scheduling unit, which is one person and one hearing office that controls the scheduling for a whole region. A whole region might encompass a state or multiple States at a time. Our region covers Toledo, Cleveland, Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Fort Wayne. So it’s a pretty big area.
What they now require of us is that they want us to submit our schedule six months out ahead of time, which is a very large task because right now we’re submitting our six month, they call it an unavailability schedule where we have to let them know what dates we’re not available for hearings and why.
So right now we’re sending our scheduling out for January through June, which is obviously very difficult for us because most of the attorneys have no idea of what we’re going to be doing in June or July and what our schedule might entail. I mean, that could be something as simple as a doctor’s appointment or obviously a vacation. So that’s a little bit different. It’s a little more difficult. I don’t know if it’s something that’s going to stick, but as far as our clients and claimants are concerned, we’re trying to be as open as possible.
Scheduling may be changing, but Balin Law is still here for you
We have very few days where we say that we’re unavailable and those unavailable dates are usually dates that we tried to make other attorneys available within the firms if one particular attorney isn’t available. But it’s something that we’re trying to do our best with and we certainly don’t want to delay a scheduling of a hearing, but we also don’t want to over burden ourselves and we want to make sure that we give our clients the best representation that’s possible. So just something to keep in mind that we’re trying our best to schedule these hearings, as many and as quickly as possible.
If you have any other questions, just make sure you call or email us. We’ll be here and available to answer any questions that you have.