Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Social Security Disability and SSI Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Back Pay Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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If I Request A Hearing For SSDI or SSI Disability, How Long Will I have to Wait?
The hardest part of the Social Security disability process, other than being denied, is the wait for a decision at each level of the disability process. When you file an initial disability claim, you have to wait several weeks to receive your decision. The average time for a decision on an initial disability claim is about one hundred days.
If your initial disability claim is denied, you must file a reconsideration appeal. The average wait time for a reconsideration appeal decision is about sixty days. If you are not approved at the reconsideration level, you have the longest wait ahead of you.
The wait for an administrative law judge hearing appeal is a long one. There is no simple answer to how long your wait will be for a hearing. Social Security hearing’s offices across the country are receiving record numbers of disability hearings requests and these new requests must be dealt with in addition to the backlog of hearing requests most disability hearings offices have already.
Simply put, you may have to wait many months to even be scheduled for a hearing. In fact, the average wait time for a hearing is twelve months or more in most parts of the country. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to reduce the time it takes to get a disability hearing.
The only real possibility of expediting your disability hearing request appeal is for you or your representative to file a letter of dire need. If you decide to file a letter of dire need, make sure to send evidence to support your dire financial situation. For example, send late notices, foreclosure or eviction notices, or any other bills or notices that corroborate that you are in dire need.
Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not. Remember, most people are in dire financial need by the time they request a hearing, so not everyone’s hearing can be expedited.
Since you cannot really do much about how long your wait will be for a disability hearing, you can save time by filing appeals as quickly. If you wait sixty days each time to file an appeal, you have added roughly four months to your overall disability claim processing time.
Additionally, make sure to provide the disability examiner handling your disability claim or appeal with any information they request as quickly possible. And if you are required to attend a consultative examination try to avoid rescheduling or missing the appointment.
If time is saved processing your initial disability claim and reconsideration appeal, at least the overall time for your disability case will be reduced. After all, the entire disability process from initial disability claim to the disability hearing is about getting your disability benefits as quickly as possible.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria