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 does it take to get a social security disability hearing decision?

The answer to this question varies as much as the answer to the question, "How long does it take to get a decision on an application for disability?". The truth is that there is simply no way to know, following the holding of a hearing before an administrative law judge, just how long it will take to receive a decision.

When it comes to initial claims (i.e. disability applications), decisions are generally received within 120 days from the date of filing. However, decisions can take much much longer due to the following factors:

1. The time it takes a disability examiner to gather a claimant's medical records.

2. Whether or not a consultative examination (another way of saying a social security physical or mental exam) will need to be scheduled before a decision can be made.

3. How quickly the claimant responds to requests for information (such as for additional information regarding the claimant's medical treatment sources, work history, and activities of daily living).

When it comes to getting a social security disability hearing decision, however, the length of time it takes to get a decision letter is dependent on how backed up the hearing office is. After a hearing has been held and a judge has decided the outcome for a case, an individual at the hearing office known as a decision writer will need to compile the notice of decision that will be sent to the claimant (informing them that they have been approved or denied for benefits).

However, decision writers are often considerably backed up due to the tremendous volume of cases being brought to hearings. For this reason, even if a disability judge manages to make a fairly quick decision on a case, it may still take months longer for the claimant to receive notification of a decision.

What should a claimant do if their hearing was held months ago and no decision notice has been received? Contact the hearing office where the hearing was held and ask for an update. Better yet, of course, if the claimant was represented at the hearing, the representative should contact the hearing office and ask for a status update.

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

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?
How do I request a social security disability hearing - How do I file?
Requesting a Social Security Hearing when you have a Disability Representative or Attorney
How long does a request for a disability hearing appeal take?
What are the odds of a judge giving you a disability denial?
What is a Social Security administrative law judge disability hearing?
What is the time frame for a judge to make a decision for a disability hearing?
How should I prepare for a disability hearing with Social Security?
What are the questions that get asked at a social security disability or SSI hearing?

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