What is a Dire Need Letter for Social Security Disability?

Submitted by CM on

If your Social Security disability application has been denied and you are waiting for a hearing to be scheduled with an administrative law judge (ALJ), you can sometimes get an expedited hearing by submitting what is known as a "dire need letter" for disability. This may help to bring forward your appeal hearing with the ALJ so that you do not need to face unnecessary financial hardship due to your disability.

What is a Dire Need Letter?

You may need to write a dire need letter when you are waiting the normal amount of time for a hearing date for your appeal which could be 12 months or more and you are now in dire financial need.

In many cases this happens when a home foreclosure is imminent, an eviction from an apartment is about to take place, you are no longer able to afford medical treatment, get the prescriptions you require or pay your utilities bills.

You can sometimes get a hearing date with an Administrative Law Judge early if by submit a "dire need letter." In many cases, if your hearing can take place early you may not lose as much as if you waited out the full waiting time. 

What Should I Include in My Dire Need Letter?

In a dire need letter, you need to explain why waiting the normal amount of time for a hearing might have dire financial consequences for you. The letter should be written by you, the claimant, and should be very detailed describing why you are writing the letter and what dire situation you are now facing.

For example, if you are about to be evicted because you rent payments are in arrears. In this situation you need to attach a copy of you eviction letter to the dire letter.

The letter should provide enough detail that explains your financial situation. If you are likely to lose your home because you are no longer able to pay your mortgage put this first in the dire need letter.

If you don’t have enough money to pay for your much needed medications or get the clinical or hospital treatment you require, or pay for vital expenses, such as your utilities bills this should be mentioned in your dire need letter too.

If you write a convincing letter and it is directed to the right person on the right day, you have a chance of your dire need being considered. The hearing office should view a claimant's lack of utilities, food, or access to necessary medical treatment as an eligible dire need situation.

Where Do I Send My Dire need Letter?

You can send in your dire need letter to the nearest Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) near you.

Get Assistance with Your Disability Claim

If you are suffering financial hardship because you are waiting too long for your ALJ hearing you should seek assistance today from a disability lawyer who will help you write a dire need letter to fast track the decision of your ALJ hearing.

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