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ODAR 20 Day Letter

Posted on in Social Security Disability

After a claimant has been denied Social Security disability benefits and appealed the claim to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) it is common to receive a "20-day" letter in the mail discussing the hearing process.  The first paragraph of the letter states:

"Thank you for your request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This letter explains the hearing process and things that you should do now to get ready for your hearing. We will mail a Notice of Hearing to you at least 20 days before the date of your hearing to tell you its time and place."

Although ODAR sends these letters to claimants with the intent to inform them of the hearing process, the language of the letter can be quite confusing.  Many of our clients frantically call our office stating, "We have to hurry, I only have 20 days before my hearing!"  Rest assured that this letter does not guarantee a hearing within 20 days. Rather, the letter is intended to inform the claimant that a notice will be send to his or her address at least 20 days before the hearing is eventually scheduled.

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