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

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 85%) 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.

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?
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

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 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