Social Security Hearing- How do I Request one, how long will it take?

If you have received a reconsideration disability denial notice (i.e., you were denied on your request for reconsideration), it is time for you to file your disability hearing request with the Social Security Administration. How do you request a hearing with an administrative law judge?

If you have a representative, they will send you the proper paper work to fill out and return to them, so that they may forward the information to Social Security. However, if you have not obtained representation, you will have to file your request for a disability hearing yourself. All Social Security Disability appeals must be received within sixty-five days from of the date of the denial notice (usually stamped in the upper right hand corner of the denial letter).

Now, how do you file the actual request for a disability hearing? You may request your hearing appeal by calling or stopping by your local Social Security Administration office, or you can call the toll free Social Security number. Whatever your contact method, Social Security will give you the proper appeal paperwork to fill out and return.

Once you return your request for an administrative law judge hearing, it will be forwarded to a regional hearings office to await scheduling. When it is time for your social security hearing, the hearings office will mail a letter to you or your representative indicating your scheduled hearing date.

You may wonder how long it will take for your disability hearing to be scheduled. Most hearings offices are experiencing significant backlogs, consequently you may be waiting from one to two years for your hearing. However, not all hearing requests take this long. And with good representation, it may be possible to actually win a disability case before having to request a hearing. However, most claimants will be in the position of having to request a social security hearing.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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