How Long Does It Take To Get A Decision For Social Security Disability?

Posted April 1, 2021

We are often asked how long it will take for Social Security to make a decision on one of our client’s claims. We tell them that, quite frankly, we often don’t know, but generally it takes about three months to get an initial decision, and if it’s denied we request for reconsideration.

If the reconsideration is denied, which might take another three months, we appeal the claim and ask for an in-person hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The timeline of any particular can vary greatly due to a host of factors. We have had initial determinations take over a year. At times we’ve had to wait over three years to get a hearing in front of a judge. Recently, the process, for whatever reason, has seemed to speed up a lot in general. In some cases, we had a hearing in front of a judge in less than a year.

The upshot of all this is that there’s no easy answer on how much time any specific case will take. The critical factor when we represent clients is to do our best to make sure we win the case. If it takes longer so be it. Oftentimes if there is a significant delay in processing claims, it can work to an applicant’s benefit, because it gives time to develop the critical medical records necessary for a favorable determination.

Obviously, people who are applying for disability benefits or for Supplemental Security benefits are usually financially distressed and want a quick resolution of their problems. We understand that and there are some procedures we use to expedite claims as long as it’s in the client’s interest to do so. Any time the medical records appear to be deficient, it’s usually not in their interest to expedite the claim.

If you would like to discuss this issue or any other aspect of your disability claim, feel free to contact us by dialing 1-800-842-0426 or online.

All consultations are free. With more than 40 years of experience trying disability claims, Drummond Law handles all aspects of the claim. Our firm can do the initial application for you simply by you giving us a phone call and we will be glad to represent you throughout the process including all the appeals.


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Our Illinois-based firm specializes in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability cases. Feel free to contact us for more information and to speak to an actual, experienced attorney. If we don't win the case, you don't pay anything.

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