How Long will it Take to Receive a Decision on my Disability Case?

by Editorial Board on January 28, 2011 · 1 comment

in Questions & Answers,Social Security Hearings

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Receiving a decision regarding your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim for benefits can take a long time.  Cases may take up to 2 ½-3 years before an Administrative Law Judge reviews the case and issues a decision.  The time frame to get a decision on your initial application can be as long as 3-4 months.  If your initial application is denied, you have must file a written appeal, or Request for Reconsideration, within 60 days.  The time to get a decision on your request for reconsideration is typically 3-4 months.  If your Request for Reconsideration is also denied, you have 60 days to file a written Request for Hearing.  Sometimes, Requests for Hearings are granted within 6 months of filing the request but they can take much longer.  After your hearing, the Administrative Law Judge that heard your case will give his or her decision to a decision writer who will put the decision in writing.  The decision is then mailed to the address you have on file with the Social Security Administration.

The average time frame between your hearing and receiving your decision is typically between 2-4 months.  If you disagree with the Judge’s decision, you may file a written Request for Review from the Social Security’s Appeals Council within 60 days.  A decision regarding your request for review may take anywhere from 30 days to 9 months to, in some cases, over one year.  Often, processing the initial application and Request for Reconsideration takes 6 months or longer and processing the Request for a Hearing takes a year or more.  As such, it’s important to remember that, although many sources of information (including the Social Security Administration) may give you average time frames in which to get a decision regarding your claim for benefits, there is no set amount of time in which to get a decision regarding your Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim.  There is just no way to know for sure how long processing your claim is going to take.

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