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

Can an SSI or SSDI disability claim take five years to complete?

An individual on a website seemed to believe this was the case, that an SSI disability claim typically takes five years. Is this true?

With the backlogs that exist today at the disability hearing level, it may take, start to finish, about three years and may stretch out to nearly four years. However, this time frame depends on a number of different factors:

1. Did the claimant get denied on a disability application?

2. Did the claimant likewise get denied on a reconsideration request?

3. Did the claimant request a disability hearing?

4. Does the claimant reside in a part of the country where the local hearing office has a substantial backlog?

There are, of course, other mediating factors. There are some claimants who seem to stay stuck in the disability sytem for five years or longer. But sometimes this happens because a claimant will repeatedly file new disability applications instead of filing appeals. Usually, of course, a claimant who does this will simply get denied again and again.

Also, there are cases in which a claimant may get denied at the initial claim level, get denied at the reconsideration level, request a hearing, get denied at the hearing and then start over again and complete the entire process a second time.

In some cases, this happens when a claimant is not represented. In other cases, a represented claimant may have been advised that an appeals council remand is unlikely to occur (the appeals council is the third appeal level in the system and the appeals council may reverse a judge's denial or require the judge to hear the case again at a remanded hearing), thus making it necessary to start the process all over again.

Generally speaking, however, claimants who are A. not approved at the initial claim or reconsideration level and B. request a disability hearing will spend about three years "in the system" fighting to win disability benefits from social security.

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

Related pages:

When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?
How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
Speeding up the Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Process
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only
When you apply for social security disability should you send copies of your xrays?
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
What disability claimants get angry about - Part II
How does Social Security consider pain?

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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida