Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

When do you receive a Hearing for Disability?

There are two ways to address this question. The first is by interpreting the question as "How long does it take to get a disability hearing date after the hearing has been requested?". To answer this, we can state that while making the request for a disability hearing is fairly simple, particularly if you have representation since your representative will handle all the paperwork, waiting for the hearing to be scheduled is another matter since it can take many months to get a hearing date established.

How long will this take? It varies according to which ODAR (office of disability adjudication and review, a.k.a. hearing office) has jurisdiction over your case, which is another way of saying it depends on which part of the country you live in. Some hearings offices have longer backlogs than others.

It also varies depending on the year in which you file a request for hearing. What do we mean by this? Simply that, over the course of the last decade, the backlog of hearing requests has, at times, gotten smaller. At other times, it has gotten larger. To some extent, this has been a matter of rising numbers of disability claims. However, it also depends on the resources available to the Social Security Administration at any given point in time.

In most states, it is a conservative bet that once a hearing request has been submitted, a date for a hearing will probably take at least a year. It is not unusual, historically, for a hearing request to take up to two years to schedule.

The second way to address this question is literally, as in "at which point in the process can you ask for a hearing?"

You receive a hearing before an Administrative Law judge sometime after the following has occurred: A) you have been denied on a request for reconsideration appeal (typically, the first appeal, the request for reconsideration, has a denial rate of about 81%) and B) you, or your disability lawyer or disability representative, have requested the hearing.

Note: there are ten test states in which the reconsideration stage has been suspended; therefore, if you live in one of those states, a hearing may be requested after a disability application has been denied. This is advantageous in one sense. Obviously, it potentially makes getting to a hearing somewhat faster since an entire appeal step is being skipped.

On the other hand, 15 percent of all reconsideration appeals are approved, meaning that removing the reconsideration appeal step may remove the potential for being approved for some claimants. This is because disability examiners (examiners make decisions on applications and reconsideration appeals) and disability judges very often come to different conclusions on cases.

Those states in which reconsideration appeals have been suspended are Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Alaska, parts of California (Los Angeles North and West areas), Michigan, New Hampshire, parts of New York (the Brooklyn and Albany areas), Missouri, and the state of Pennsylvania.

When you go to your hearing, should you have representation? This is a question that only you can decide, however statistically about sixty percent of the hearings with representation win, where as only about forty percent of the hearing without representation win.

Although the Social Security Administrative Law judge hearing is fairly informal, it is nonetheless based on several things that make attending a hearing without representation somewhat dicey.

One of those things, of course, is knowing what to look for in the medical records for a particular case. Secondly, knowing how to read the case file and prior denials on the case is important as well. But, in addition to these things, representatives will be familiar with concepts such as unsuccessful work attempts, the date last insured, what constitutes SGA (substantial gainful activity), and how to present a theory of the case for the judge who is making the decision.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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
    Social Security Disability For Back Condition pain in California
    How much can you make in California and still apply for disability?
    Disability requirements and criteria in California

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

    Filing an application for disability
    Filing for disability and medical conditions that qualify
    How long to get disability benefits when you apply
    Social Security Disability application denied
    Winning disability benefits, how to win
    Winning disability for a mental condition
    Social Security Disability Back pay, SSD, SSI
    Eligible for Social Security Disability SSI