I went to a meeting of the New York Social Security Bar Association last night. Besides catching up with my professional colleagues about new judges and changes at the various local hearing offices, I also learned some interesting news. Apparently, while there are still significant backlogs in processing Social Security Disability claims at the initial level, hearings are now being heard in the Brooklyn and New York City Hearing Offices so quickly that some claimants have not even been disabled for a full 12 months before their hearings.
Ironically, such rapid processing of claims is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it’s terrific that those two hearing offices are processing the claims as fast as they are; on the other hand, it is a problem for someone who has not yet been out of work due to his or her disability for a full 12 months and therefore has not yet satisfied the durational requirement to be eligible for Social Security Disability.