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Office of Disability Adjudication & Review (ODAR)

What is the ODAR?

The Office of Disability Adjudication & Review is a branch of the Social Security Administration. These are the offices that are in charge of scheduling the disability hearings for Social Security Disability applicants who are appealing a denial of their initial Social Security Disability claim.

What Does the ODAR Do?

The ODAR offices that manage the hearings for Social Security Disability applicants experience a significant backlog of claims and, as a result, there is usually a long wait associated with having one of these offices schedule a hearing for an applicant.

Wait times for a hearing range from a few months to more than two years depending on the area of the nation that an applicant lives in and the actual ODAR office that handles that area of claims.

“Video” hearings can decrease hearing processing times. if the ODAR office is willing schedule video conferences.

The SSA’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review has 10 regional offices and 169 hearing offices. There is also one national case assistance center that falls into the ODAR office category.

The administrative law judges who hear the disability hearings for Social Security Disability applicants are also a part of the SSA’s ODAR offices, with approximately 1,300 administrative law judges being employed by the SSA.

The ODAR office also handles the SSA’s Appeals Council and is in charge of reviewing the decisions made by administrative law judges when a Social Security Disability applicant appeals the decision made by an administrative law judge as a result of their disability hearing.

The SSA’s ODAR offices are headquartered out of Falls Church, Virginia and ODAR is estimated to be one of the largest administrative adjudication systems in the entire world.

What Will You Hear at the ODAR?

When you are at the ODAR, you will usually receive three things:

  • Confirmation letter following a request for hearing that has been submitted
  • An appointment letter from the hearings office letting you know that a hearing date has been set
  • A decision regarding your case that will either be fully favorable, partially favorable, or unfavorable

Talk to a Social Security Attorney

Applying for either SSDI or SSI can be a long and daunting process. Most initial applications for Social Security benefits are denied. Because of this, you might want to consider hiring an experienced Social Security attorney to help you with your claim.