How long does it take to get a decision on a disability appeal?

How long does it take to get a decision on a disability appeal?

You can quote statistics for various states, or for each appeal in various states, but the problem is that those numbers can fluctuate and since they are averages may not have much relevance to an individual's case.

If you have had a disability hearing, there is the chance that you will get a decision quickly, or even get an indication from the ALJ at the hearing that the case will be paid (approved). However, the likely reality is that you will wait an unspecified number of weeks or even months on a notice of decision.

After a disability hearing, the best thing to do is to have your disability attorney check for a status periodically every, perhaps, 8-12 weeks. But there would probably be no point to this until you have waited at least 3 months for a decision notice.

Is it pointless to call the hearing office for a status check on your case? No, there are many times when such a status check will reveal that the hearing office has not received records that the case has been held open for. Calling represents an opportunity to learn what the delay is, and attempt to gather that information.

If you have submitted a disability application, by all means call to check on your case. But no more than once a month, or every 6-8 weeks. Again, it is useful to do this? Why? Sometimes the disability examiner (I was one) needs to contact you for information about your jobs or treatment, but they just haven't gotten to it. By you calling them, things move faster. Sometime, the effect will be that your case gets worked on that day, and faster overall.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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