SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Disability Hearing?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
In most instances, it will take at least a number of weeks to get the results of a Social Security disability administrative law judge hearing. And sometimes the waiting for an ALJ's, or Administrative Law Judge's, decision can be considerable.
ALJs will often inform the claimant that they may receive written notification 45 days to 90 days after the hearing date. However, it is not unusual for a hearing office to deliver a decision on a disability hearing only after several months have passed.
Needless to say, most disability applicants do not get the results of their hearing at the hearing itself.
When a claimant does receive an indication of a decision, it may be informal in the sense that the judge will indicate to the claimant and their disability attorney that they intend to pay the claim.
However, regarding this type of indication from a judge, it should be pointed out that there have been cases in which a claimant and their disability lawyer were told of a judge's intent to pay a claim, but were surprised to learn that the case was not actually approved.
Translation: In such instances it may be wise not to consider the case concluded until a either a partially favorable or fully favorable notice of decision has been received.
There are, of course, situations in which a judge will deliver a bench decision at a hearing. This is a formal decision that is definitive and which can save weeks or months of time waiting for a decision. The chance of receiving a bench decision will increase when a claimant's attorney or non-attorney representative submits a well organized brief to the judge prior to the hearing date. (see Types of decisions from a disability judge ).
Why does it take so long to receive the formal results of your disability hearing? Most administrative law judges do not write their own disability decisions. Judges most often send their disability decisions to decision writers (usually, a staff attorney at a hearing office).
Once the decision writer completes their written decision, they return the decision to the administrative law judge or ALJ to review and make corrections. Of course, if there are corrections to be made it can take even longer to get the formal disability decision to the disability applicant.
Many disability applicants, fortunately, do receive their Notice of Decision in forty-five to ninety days after their hearing. A Notice of Decision outlines the medical records considered and other criteria used for the hearing decision along with the hearing decision.
If a disability applicant is approved for disability benefits, they will also receive an official award letter from Social Security explaining how much their monthly disability benefit is expected to be, as well as the month they became eligible for a disability benefit payment. There will follow more letters with regard to back payments and other payment issues.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page