How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.