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Social Security Disability Hearing Processing Time

December 15, 2008 by The Sawaya Law Firm

Once a person’s initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied after applying and they file an appeal or request for hearing, they are then waiting for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge for a decision to be made on their case. In some states, there is an extra step called the request for reconsideration. In those states, once the applicant receives his or her initial denial, they file a request for reconsideration and then wait for another decision, and if they receive a denial at this stage, then they file an appeal or request for hearing and await a hearing.

Once an appeal or request for hearing is filed the wait for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge has been as great as 18 months in some areas of the country. According to the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) between September and October of 2008 there was a significant drop in the national average processing time for a hearing. The wait was 532 days in September and 476 days in October. The average processing time calculated by NOSSCR in Denver, Colorado was 467 days in September and 453 days in October. The Social Security Administration has a large backlog of cases to work through but hopefully this decrease in processing time is a good sign of improvement into the future.

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