Given the ridiculous hearing backlog at Social Security now -- approaching two years in much of the country -- it's crucial that homeless claimants receive the expediting that Social Security allows them. But how are we supposed to prove homelessness? You might say, "That's easy. Just get the homeless shelter to write a letter on their behalf." That's easier said than done even when we're talking about homeless shelters and most homeless people don't stay in homeless shelters. There are few homeless shelters in rural areas. Homeless shelters can be dangerous places. Most homeless people avoid them when they can. They move around between relatives and friends, never staying anywhere long. Some live in tents or shacks in the woods. How are these claimants supposed to prove their homelessness?
At the moment, I’m asking homeless clients either to write a letter that I can send to Social Security or get someone at a homeless shelter or a relative or friend to write a letter but this doesn’t work so well. Homeless people often lack the ability to write a letter and lack people in their lives who can or will write a letter on their behalf.
I keep thinking there’s got to be a better way. What are other people doing? Would a form that a claimant or someone in their life could complete work?