You rarely know if you have won your benefits right after your hearing. Sometimes an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will issue a bench decision or let your attorney or representative know he or she is going to award you your benefits. However, most of the time, you will know you have won your disability claim by receiving a written decision in the mail. The Administrative Law Judge that heard your case will put his or her decision in writing and mail it to the address you have on file with the Social Security Administration. If you were represented at the hearing, your attorney will receive a copy of the decision as well. However, you will probably receive the decision before your attorney does. As such, it’s always a good idea to call his or her office and let them know the outcome of the case. Although every case is a little different, the average processing time for an ALJ decision is 2 to 4 months. Your attorney or representative should track the time it takes to get your decision and contact the Administrative Law Judge or his or her staff if it takes substantially longer than that.
Twenty pages about applying for and winning Social Security Disability benefits in Heard & Smith's guidebook. Get the guidebook now.