How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Disability Hearing?


How long a decision takes from the time you requested the hearing

According to Social Security, in a recent year it took an average of 318 days, or 10.5 months, to get a decision after the hearing was requested and later held. Most of this wait was due to how long it took to get a hearing date in the first place. Depending on where you live, it can actually take between 1-2 years to get a hearing date.

How long a decision takes after the hearing has been held

After your disability hearing with an ALJ (administrative law judge) has been held, the judge may tell you that you will receive the decision within a certain number of days. Some may say 60 days, some may say 45-90 days. It can depend on who your judge was, as well as the backlogs at that particular hearing office.

However, it is not unusual to have to wait several months to receive a disability hearing decision.

Note: If the decision is taking too long, you or your lawyer can contact the hearing office and request the status. In most instances, they will simply tell you that no decision has been made, but sometimes a status call can help move a case along faster.

Why does it take so long to get the decision after the hearing?

One reason is that hearing offices have backlogs. Another reason, though, is that most administrative law judges do not write their own disability decisions. Judges most often send their disability decisions to decision writers (usually, a staff attorney at a hearing office).

Once the decision writer completes their written decision, they give it back to the administrative law judge to review and make corrections. Of course, if there are corrections to be made it can take even longer to get the formal decision to the disability applicant.

How you are notified of the hearing decision

When the decision is made, you and your lawyer will receive the written notice of decision. If the decision is an approval, the notice of decision will be followed by the notice of award. This will tell you how much your monthly benefit will be, and the month you became eligible for a benefit payment. Later, you will receive more letters about back payments and other payment issues.

Can the judge tell you at the hearing what the decision will be?

Sometimes, a judge will tell you what the decision is without having to wait for a written notice. This is called a Bench Decision, a formal oral decision that is definitive and can eliminate weeks or months of time that you would spend waiting for your decision letter.

The chance of receiving a bench decision will increase when a claimant's disability attorney or Social Security representative submits a well organized brief to the judge prior to the hearing date.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
Basic Facts about the Administrative Law Judge Social Security Disability Hearing
Are the Chances of Winning Disability Benefits Higher at a Social Security Hearing with a Judge?
Winning at a Social Security Disability Hearing
Social Security Disability Hearings - what to expect
What happens when you go to a Social Security Disability hearing?
Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
Presenting evidence at a Social Security Disability or SSI hearing
How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Disability Hearing?
Do Most People Have To Go To A Disability Hearing in order to Get Approved For Disability?
Can you be approved for disability without having to go to a hearing?
Waiting for a Hearing to be Scheduled before an ALJ, Administrative Law Judge
Vocational expert at a disability hearing - what is this?
Social Security Disability Hearings - What is the ALJ

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.