Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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?

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

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?

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