Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

How Long Will My Disability Case Be at the Social Security Hearing Office Before It gets Scheduled?

Social Security disability and SSI hearings typically take a year or more to be scheduled, due to current backlogs within the Social Security system. In areas in which the population is greater, or where whole industries are disappearing (such as Detroit), the wait for a disability hearing could take over two years. The more disability cases filed in your state each year, the longer it takes for Social Security to act on your case.

Currently there are over 2 million disability applications filed with Social Security for SSD or SSI benefits. This number is expected to increase next year, and the pattern shows no sign of changing anytime soon. The wait for the Social Security office to schedule hearings will probably increase over time as well, barring some extensive state and federal government funding to hire more individuals to process disability applications.

More than a decade ago this was not the case, at least for most individuals. Applicants who filed a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge in 1999 and 2000 usually waited about 3 to 5 for the hearing office to schedule their case. Today, in this economy, a prompt response on a hearing request is no longer a reality.

Because it takes so long for disability hearings to be scheduled, applicants should do everything they can to help the process run smoothly. This includes filing reconsideration appeals and hearing requests on time, within 60 days of the date the claim was rejected (this date is stamped in the top right corner of the decision).

Do not make the mistake of filing a new claim rather than filing an appeal. Unless there is some compelling new information to add to the medical record, it is unlikely there will be a different decision on an application. Also, be sure to comply with requests for additional information and to attend any scheduled appointments, particularly those for consultative medical exams scheduled by a disability examiner.

Finally, and perhaps this should go without saying: Show up for your hearing. A surprising number of people wait years to be scheduled for a hearing, only to fail to show up. And this is really a shame, because, though the wait for a hearing is long, statistics show that administrative law judges tend to side with claimants; about 60 percent of disability denials are overturned by disability judges.

Additional information:

Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing? By What Methods?

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    Can your doctor get you approved for disability?
    When does Social Security send you to an xray?
    Does my doctor decide if I am disabled?
    What does a Social Security Disability Examiner do?
    Can I Talk To the Disability Examiner Working On My Case?
    How Does A Social Security Disability Examiner Determine a Personís Functional Limitations?
    What happens if the Social Security disability examiner cannot find all the needed medical records?
    How long does it take for an examiner to review a disability case?
    Will the the SSA Examiner Call or Contact me about my Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
    What tools are used by a Social Security Disability Examiner to Make a Claim Decision?
    After you file for SSD, the Disability Examiner may contact you for additional information
    Approved for Disability but Medicare being terminated?
    If you apply for disability in Nevada
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in Nevada

    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