SSA ODAR stands for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. (As of 2017, ODAR has changed it’s name to OHO: Office of Hearing Operations). This is where Social Security Disability Hearings are held. Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) and staff at the hearing office work on files and hear cases that have been denied at the initial and reconsideration levels. For information on the disability process look here.
After you appeal your reconsideration denial, your case will be sent to the OHO that is closest to you. The Social Security Administration is also holding video hearings in some cases. The hearing will still be held in your local area, but the ALJ may be over the video screen. If you are adamantly against having a video hearing, you should let OHO know as soon as possible after requesting your hearing. If you request an in-person hearing, it may take longer to have your hearing scheduled.
The length of time that it takes to have a hearing before an ALJ varies from one OHO to another. You will have to wait 18-24 months (on average) in NC for your hearing to be scheduled. If your health has deteriorated substantially or you are having severe financial hardship, you can request a dire need. If your request for dire need is approved, OHO will schedule your hearing as soon as possible.
While you are waiting on your hearing to be scheduled you should continue to go to the doctor and follow their advice. If you are unable to afford to go the doctor, watch our video for suggestions. Medical treatment is imperative for your disability case.
One of the ALJ’s clerks will call you to schedule your hearing. Most OHOs try to schedule hearings at least two – three months in advance, but in the least they must give you 20 days notice. When you are called, make sure you know the day/time/location and name of the ALJ. You can read our post about reviews of SSA ALJs.
Your hearing at SSA OHO will take over a year to be scheduled but OHO is where you have your best statistical chance of being approved. The Bishop Law Firm represents Social Security Disability clients in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and surrounding areas in North Carolina. Call us today for a free case evaluation!
This post was last updated in June 2018.