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?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
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 a social security disability hearing decision?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The answer to this question varies as much as the answer to the question, "How long does it take to get a decision on an application for disability?". The truth is that there is simply no way to know, following the holding of a hearing before an administrative law judge, just how long it will take to receive a decision.
When it comes to initial claims (i.e. disability applications), decisions are generally received within 120 days from the date of filing. However, decisions can take much much longer due to the following factors:
1. The time it takes a disability examiner to gather a claimant's medical records.
2. Whether or not a consultative examination (another way of saying a social security physical or mental exam) will need to be scheduled before a decision can be made.
3. How quickly the claimant responds to requests for information (such as for additional information regarding the claimant's medical treatment sources, work history, and activities of daily living).
When it comes to getting a social security disability hearing decision, however, the length of time it takes to get a decision letter is dependent on how backed up the hearing office is. After a hearing has been held and a judge has decided the outcome for a case, an individual at the hearing office known as a decision writer will need to compile the notice of decision that will be sent to the claimant (informing them that they have been approved or denied for benefits).
However, decision writers are often considerably backed up due to the tremendous volume of cases being brought to hearings. For this reason, even if a disability judge manages to make a fairly quick decision on a case, it may still take months longer for the claimant to receive notification of a decision.
What should a claimant do if their hearing was held months ago and no decision notice has been received? Contact the hearing office where the hearing was held and ask for an update. Better yet, of course, if the claimant was represented at the hearing, the representative should contact the hearing office and ask for a status update.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials