The Social Security Disability process can be a very lengthy, drawn-out process. For those of you who are considering applying for Social Security benefits, knowing a general timeline of what to expect is very important. For those of you who are in the process of applying, become familiar with what stage your case is in and hold tight. It can be a long wait.
After you apply for Social Security Disability you might be wondering, “how much longer is this going to take?” The short answer: it depends.
Initial Application Level
Generally speaking, an initial decision on whether or not you are entitled to benefits takes four to six months. Hopefully the process stops here and your application for benefits is approved.
However, if the decision is not in your favor there are steps you need to take that, unfortunately, take time. First, you will need to file what is called a Request for Reconsideration. At this stage, the Social Security Administration will look at the decision in your case and the medical records available. Your case will then be approved or denied. If your case is approved, then the application process ends. This part of the process typically takes between two and five months.
If your claim is denied at the reconsideration level you can request an administrative hearing in front of an administrative law judge. This process takes the longest. According to the Hearings and Appeals data, the average wait time between the request for hearing and actual hearing date is fifteen months for the San Antonio, Texas office.
After your hearing is complete, the judge may announce his or her decision. However, this is rare. Even if the judge announces your decision at the hearing you still have to wait for the written decision to be mailed to you. More often than not, you will not know if your claim was approved until the decision is mailed. You can expect to wait anywhere from six weeks to five months to receive a decision.
What Does this Mean for You and Your Claim?
On average, from beginning to end, a claim takes two to three years to complete. However, there are exceptions to the above waiting periods. Whatever stage you are in, the wait can be trying physically, emotionally, and financially. To learn more about the process and why it’s important to have knowledgeable representation on your side, call The Packard Law Firm today! We will do everything we can to expedite the process and get you the benefits you deserve.