California residents who may be in situations in which they need to have their SSI or Social Security Disability case processed as soon as possible may be able to do so by submitting a request. A dire need request is one that appeals for faster processing of an application due to extenuating circumstances, including the high likelihood that the applicant may lose the home that they own or rent. A dire need request may also be submitted if the applicant is in danger of having their utilities cut off or is unable to pay for required medicine.

At the disability application and appeal levels, dire need requests have no impact. At those stages, the disability examiners are unable to speed up the process as there is typically nothing that can be expedited.

However, dire need requests submitted for claims that are at the hearing level may be effective. Claims at the hearing level means that there has been a request for a disability hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. The requests at this stage push the claim further ahead in the queue if a hearing has been approved, allowing the hearing to be scheduled sooner. As for the result of a claim, a dire need request has absolutely no impact.

There are other steps that can be taken at the hearing level to speed up the process. An on-the-record review can be requested and can eliminate months’ worth of the time needed to schedule and hold a hearing as well as wait for a decision by the judge.

An attorney who practices Social Security Disability law may advise clients about the steps for filing a claim for the benefits to which they may be entitled. The attorney may assist with appealing denied claims by advocating for a client during a hearing.