supplemental security income

How Long Does Disability Take?

If you have applied for Social Security SSI disability, then you might be wondering how long you can expect to wait before hearing a decision on your claim. Unfortunately, anyone who’s been through the system before will tell you that Supplemental Security Income is a waiting game, and in most cases you can expect to wait for a while before getting an answer either way. The exact amount of time you’ll have to wait, though, can depend on several factors.


The most important factor when waiting for a decision is what level of the application process you are in. For an initial, first-time applicant, the average wait is usually somewhere around one to three months. This is average, and honestly many cases take longer to be considered depending on the amount and types of evidence that have been provided.


If you are denied your initial claim, you have the option to appeal that decision. This first appeal also takes several months — on average, a reconsideration appeal will take about two months before you can expect to hear something back from the SSA.


If this appeal is also denied, you still have the option to file for a hearing before an administrative judge. This judge will hear your claims in person and make a decision based on the evidence provided. For many, this is the longest and most frustrating part of the entire Supplemental Security Income waiting process, because it’s not unusual for an applicant at this stage of the process to have to wait at least an entire year, if not even more, due to the extreme backlog of cases. If you are stuck at this stage, though, the good news is that this step tends to have the highest approval rating.


So, from start to finish an applicant might get an approval in as short as a single month, or they might find their application being stretched out to a year and a half, if not even more.


For certain claims — especially those that are cut-and-dry or involved people with terminal conditions, the SSA has been known to expedite the process and deliver a decision much more quickly, so it’s important to stress that on your initial application.


And, as always, if you have not yet considered hiring professional help to assist you in this process, you should do so. Applicants with legal representation are more likely to get an approval, and to receive one faster than those without. So, if you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!