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What Is a Dire Needs Letter?

What Is a Dire Needs Letter?

A dire needs letter can help speed up the Social Security disability process.

What Is a Dire Needs Letter?

For many people, the wait for a decision on an application for Social Security disability benefits is excruciating. Facing health issues and an inability to work, the bills may mount up — making it impossible to pay for basic life necessities.

In these situations, a California Social Security disability benefits attorney can work with you to write a dire needs letter. This is a way for an applicant to request that the Social Security Administration grant an expedited hearing after an initial denial of benefits. The letter will explain why waiting the typical amount of time for a disability benefits hearing will have disastrous consequences — in essence, you are showing the SSA that you have “dire needs.”

Typically, a dire needs letter will describe extreme situations, rather than simple inconvenience. For example, if you are about to be evicted or lose your house to foreclosure, that would be considered a dire need. If you had to stop cable, that would likely not be a dire need. You may also document other significant financial issues, such as how you may not be able to pay for necessities, such as food or utilities, or that you won’t be able to obtain necessary medical treatment or pay for your prescriptions.

As one might expect, SSA offices across the country receive hundreds of dire needs letters. For this reason, your situation must be fairly extreme before you consider writing a dire needs letter. If you are in danger of becoming homeless or if you lack access to food or medical care due to your financial situation, then it may be worth the time and effort to write a dire needs letter.

A dire needs letter should be written by the person filing for benefits, as opposed to a friend or family member. An experienced California Social Security disability benefits attorney can provide tips on how to write this type of letter. You should include as much detail as possible to support your claim. For example, if you are behind on rent, do not simply state in the letter that you are about to be evicted. Be specific, listing exactly how much you owe to your landlord and whether you have received any documents related to eviction.

To back up these claims, you should include documentation along with your letter. In the example cited above, you could include copies of letters from your landlord and one from the local court with an eviction hearing notice. You could also enclose bank statements, water shutoff notices, or bills from a hospital to show that you are in dire financial need and are facing homelessness or other extreme circumstances. The more evidence that you provide, the greater the likelihood that your request will be granted.

PLBSH is dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities obtain Social Security disability benefits. If you are considering applying for disability benefits or are already in the process of applying, we can help. Contact our firm today at (800) 435-7542 or to learn more or to schedule a consultation with a skilled California Social Security disability benefits attorney.

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