Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney in Muskegon
Muskegon Social Security Disability Firm Lawyers you can rely on.
A law firm you can trust.

Dire Need Social Security Disability Cases

A Muskegon SSDI Attorney Providing Caring & Capable Advocacy

You could be waiting more than a year to receive a decision on your Social Security disability application. The average wait time for a hearing in Grand Rapids is 14 months; in Lansing, it’s 12.1 months; and in Mt. Pleasant, it’s 17 months.

These are average wait times—not maximums.

However, Social Security may process a case more quickly if it is deemed “critical.” This most commonly happens when a “dire need” situation exists.

image of doctor speaking with man and holding clipboard

What Does Dire Need Mean?

Dire need means you are in need of immediate help. There are three situations which can constitute dire need:

  • You do not have food and cannot obtain it
  • You are homeless or facing foreclosure/eviction
  • You need medical care and cannot get it because of lack of money or insurance

How to Request a Dire Need Designation

The Social Security employee manual states that all employees who screen claims are responsible for identifying dire need cases. However, due to high case volumes, this rarely happens.

The most effective way to have your case identified as a dire need case is to send Social Security a “dire need letter.”

Each regional Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) in the U.S. receives hundreds of Social Security dire need letters per year. Most ODARs will only identify a case as dire need if a disability claimant is at risk of becoming homeless. However, some hearing offices (usually the less-busy ones) may view a lack of access to necessary medical care or utilities as a qualifying Social Security dire need situation.

If you are granted an expedited hearing, this may mean that the hearing is scheduled a few months earlier. This may not seem like much, but every little bit helps.

Tips for Writing a Social Security Dire Need Letter

A dire need letter should be written by the claimant—not a friend, family member, or legal representative. It should include lots of details to support your claim to dire need, such as:

  • If you’re in danger of losing your home. If this is the case, make it the first item you address. Provide supporting documentation, such as eviction threats, foreclosure notices, etc.
  • What bills you can’t pay and how far behind they are. Attach copies of past due notices.
  • What critical expenses you can’t pay—utilities, food, rent, etc.
  • Any medications you can’t obtain, and how much they cost.
  • Whether you have access to needed medical treatment.
  • Any repossessions or potential repossessions.

You should send the Social Security dire need letter to the ODAR that is handling your case.

In urgent need of disability assistance? Contact Nolan & Shafer PLC for a free consultation with our Muskegon SSDI lawyer at (231) 403-0040. We serve clients in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas.

Social Security Diability FAQs You have questions. We have answers. Learn More

Why Hire Nolan & Shafer PLC?

Your Case Deserves the Best Case Scenario
  • Loyally Representing Clients Across West Michigan

  • Direct, Face-to-Face Contact with an Attorney

  • Dedicated Representation from Start to Finish

  • At the Forefront of Michigan Disability Claims Litigation

  • Free Claim Evaluations & No Out-of-Pocket Payments

  • No Fees Owed Unless & Until Benefits are Awarded

  • 600+ Social Security Disability Claims & Appeals Handled

  • Numerous Satisfied Clients with Compelling Stories

Client Testimonals

The Opinions that Matter Most
  • “Everything turned out exactly how he told me it would.”

    Michael W.
  • “He strikes a resonant chord in the courtroom and follows through with a well-crafted approach”

    Don A.
  • “Matt always kept us up to date, which when you are upset, is extremely comforting.”

    Kathy G.
  • “He took a process I was dreading and made it easy. ”

    James C.
  • “Bad situation made better”

    Kenneth Augustine Ada, MI

  • SuperLawyerse Rising Star - Matthew Swartz
  • Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2015
  • NossCR
  • Michigan Association for Justice