Law office of
Kathleen Flynn

Call today for a
free consultation
  • Not Specified
  • Testimonials

    "A relative of mine, suffering from liver failure, had been going through the normal channels without a lawyer and 2 years passed by with no results. He was referred to Kathleen Flynn by the hospital, an attorney who not only specialized in disability cases but had actually previously worked for the Social Security Administration, and, therefore, understood the complete process. After hiring Ms. Flynn, my relative won his case for disability in a short amount of time. Desperate, I made an appointment to see Ms. Flynn, and, within 2 months, I received my first disability check! It was amazing!"

    — Charles R. Joines
  • RSS New on Our Blog

    • During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration is not acting on the following cases: June 22, 2020
      During the Covid-19 pandemic from April 10, 2020 until further notice, SSA is NOT acting on the following cases based upon NOSSCR’s June 2020 newsletter. 1. Medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) -This is good news for any adult or child with a physical or mental condition (s), who was previously awarded social security disability […]
    • National Minority Mental Health Month July 29, 2016
      During the month of July, we commemorate National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month following the 2008 resolution by Congress. This resolution honors the legacy of Bebe Moore Campbell, an award winning African-American author, journalist, and teacher, who helped to destigmatize how minorities approach mental health issues in their communities. Based upon the 2000 […]
    • Raising Breast Cancer awareness in African-American women February 14, 2016
      At a past fundraiser for the Sisters Network in Atlanta, GA, I learned of the need for breast cancer awareness in the African American community. Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst all women. cancer/dcpc/data/ women.htm Considering women under age 45, however, the mortality rate of breast cancer is higher for African-Americans than […]
    • Diabetes: How to win a social security disability case before an Adjudicator or ALJ December 10, 2015
      The Social Security Administration (SSA) eliminated Medical Listing 9.08. For complications from diabetes, this listing previously resulted in a finding of disability at step three of the sequential evaluation process for social security disability claims. In fact, effective June 7, 2015, there are no specific endocrine disorder listings anymore for adults. One exception is […]
    • Representatives have a duty to submit all evidence in social security disability cases to the Social Security Administration October 15, 2015
      Beginning in April 2015, the Social Security Administration (SSA) created new internal Hallex regulations requiring representatives to submit all existing evidence related to a client’s mental or physical impairments. In the past, representatives were not required to submit evidence that could adversely impact a client’s case. During hearings held at the Office of Disability Adjudication […]

How Long Can You Expect to Wait to get a Favorable Decision at the SSA Hearing Level?

If you are applying for Disability Insurance benefits (DIB or SSDI) under Title II and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title 16 of the Social Security Disability Act, you quickly realize that this government program cannot provide the swift help needed.The sudden onset of illness and/or disease can have dire financial consequences resulting in the loss of housing, a car, and medical treatment due to an inability to afford transportation, copays and medication.

Currently, in the Atlanta-North Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), the average wait time for a hearing to be scheduled is 15.5 months from the date that the appeal (request for hearing) is filed at the Social Security District Office until the hearing date. At the Atlanta–Downtown ODAR, the average wait for a hearing to be scheduled is 17 months; and at the Covington ODAR office, the average wait time for a hearing is 15 months.

What can be done to get a Hearing Faster?

1. If you are terminally ill with a medical condition that is untreatable, irreversible, and expected to end in death, your case will be flagged as a “TERI case” for expedited processing. Examples include: 1) any malignant neoplasm defined as state IV cancer that is metastatic, persistent or recurrent following initial therapy; or inoperable or unresectable 2) an allegation or diagnosis of cancer of the esophagus; cancer of the liver; cancer of the pancreas; cancer of the gallbladder; mesothelioma; small cell or oat cell lung cancer; cancer of the brain; or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) 3) comatose for 30 days or more 4) awaiting heart, liver, lung or bone marrow transplants excluding kidney and corneal transplants 5) chronic pulmonary or heart failure requiring continuous home oxygen and an inability to care for personal needs. 6) chronic dependence on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining device 7) receiving inpatient hospice care or receiving home hospice care, ie. in-home end of life counseling or palliative nursing care 8) an allegation from the claimant or third party that the illness is terminal; 9) newborn with a lethal genetic or congenital defect 10) an allegation or diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or 11) an allegation or diagnosis of acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

2. Determine if your case falls under the Compassionate Allowance Exception. Claimants suffering from conditions on a “Compassionate Allowance” list get special treatment. See our blog dated February 17,2012 which addresses the topic.
The comprehensive Compassionate Allowance List can be found at:

3. Submit information documenting that you are homeless or in a “dire need” situation. Dire need can be shown if you are without shelter, food, or access to medical care.

4. If you are VET attempting to obtain a VA Disability Rating, once a 100% VA Disability Rating is achieved, SSA regulations require special processing of these cases.

5. If you are a VET, who has not received a disability rating of 100%, but who has sustained a physical or mental impairment while on active duty, you are designated as a Military Casualty/Wounded Warrior, whose case requires special processing.

6. Your case may be designated as critical if SSA finds that you are suicidal, homicidal, or potentially violent.

7. If there has been an inordinate delay in processing your case, and there is a public, congressional, or other high priority inquiry on the case, SSA may designate your case as critical. Contact your local Congressperson to do an inquiry of the status of your case with ODAR if you have been waiting for a hearing beyond the average processing times listed above.

Unless the Judge issues a decision from the Bench, there will be a delay of months before a decision writer prepares a fully favorable decision for the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to sign. Then, there will be another delay before a PERK, financial interview, is conducted by the Social Security District Office for a SSI monthly payment and/or SSI back payment. Moreover, the Payment Center may take months to issue a monthly DIB payment and/or back payment for DIB. The Payment Center cannot release a DIB backpayment until all the SSI installments are released to you.

Call the Law office of Kathleen M Flynn, LLC at 404-479-4431 if you would like assistance with filing an application or appeal for social security disability benefits or help in expediting your case. Also, please visit our website at to learn more about us.