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

Is Social Security required to make a decision on a disability case in a certain time period?

The simple answer to this question is that Social Security Disability and SSI do not have deadline processing goals, but there are no mandates with regard to processing time. Social Security does not have an absolute time period for claims processing, because there are many reasons the processing of a disability claim can be delayed.

Claimants themselves cause some case processing delays. For example, if a claimant does not provide necessary information (i.e. activities of daily living questionnaires or work activity forms) timely, or fail to return needed medical release or disability forms, or a correct address and phone (needed so they can be reached to schedule need medical consultative examinations), their disability case will take longer to receive a decision.

Additionally, disability claimants cause delays by missing or rescheduling consultative examination appointments. All of these things cause more processing time, thereby extending the time it takes to make a disability decision.

There are also delays in case processing that can be attributed to Social Security. Claims representatives are sometimes slow in getting disability claims to state disability agencies. Sometimes state disability agencies (usually known as DDS, or disability determination services, this is where disability examiners work) take more time to make their disability decisions due to dramatically increasing disability caseloads and lack of staffing.

Certainly, it is advisable to check on the status of your disability claim periodically to make sure that it is being processed. There is always the chance the disability decision has been made and for some reason you have not received your decisional notice.

Currently, the average case processing time for a disability claim decision is about one hundred days, while reconsideration appeals take about sixty days for a decision. Disability cases at the hearing appeal level have the longest processing time because of the wait for a disability hearing. Disability claimants are often waiting a year or more to get their hearings.

Disability case processing times have become a public relations issue for Social Security, so they are constantly trying to streamline the disability process so that disability decisions can be made in a more reasonable time period even if the disability case is at the hearing office.

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

Related pages:

How long does it take to get a decision on Social Security disability or SSI?
How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal is Made
How Quickly Is The Disability Claim Decision Made?
Is Social Security required to make a decision on a disability case in a certain time period?
Social Security evaluates work history when making disability decisions
Social Security Disability decisions use two main criteria
Disability decisions are based on functional limitations
Factors affecting how long a Social Security decision letter takes
How Long Will it Take To Get a Disability Decision Letter from Social Security?
Avoid delays to reduce how long does it take to get a disability decision
Disability attorneys and RFC forms

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