How Long Will It Take To Get A Social Security Disability Hearing?

If you have applied for Social Security Disability or are thinking about applying, you probably have many questions about the process.  One of the questions you are likely asking is how long will it take to get a Social Security Disability hearing.

Generally speaking, it usually takes between 12 and 18 months from the time you request a hearing until you actually appear before a judge.  Even though your chances of success at the hearing level may be good, the long wait can be physically, mentally, and emotionally tough on you.  Recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been trying to reduce the wait time by:

  1.  Identifying cases in which favorable decisions can be issued without a hearing;
  2.  Allowing administrative law judges to make favorable decisions at the time of the hearing without having    to write an opinion; and
  3. Using technology through electronic filings and video hearings to help increase efficiency.

Even with the Social Security Administration taking these steps, the wait can still be very long in some instances.  Even with the long wait, though, if you can’t work because of a physical or mental condition, it is still best to pursue your case all the way through the hearing level.

Will I Have To Testify?

While you are not required to testify in person, you should do so if you are able.  Your hearing is your first and best opportunity to look the decision-maker in the eye and explain why you are disabled.  At the Ritchie Law Firm, we recommend that all of our clients attend their Social Security Disability hearings in person.

How Long Will I Have To Wait For A Decision?

If your case is chosen for a decision “on the record” (the judge gives you a favorable decision on the day of your hearing and indicates that the decision is “on the record”), then you will likely receive a letter confirming the decision within several days.  Even if you receive a decision “on the record,” however, the judge can still make changes to the decision which may delay your benefits.

If you don’t receive a decision from the bench, then your waiting time can vary, depending on the judge and the complexity of your claim.  Most of our clients waiting on a decision from the SSA will usually wait a month or longer to receive their opinion.

Whether you receive a decision from the bench or have to wait to receive a formal opinion in the mail, the decision on your claim doesn’t become official until you receive a letter or opinion from the Social Security Administration.

Since This Is Such A Long Process, Can I Try To Work?

The answer to this question is “maybe.”  With the Social Security Administration, work is somewhat of a minefield when it comes to your benefits.  The best advice is that you shouldn’t make any decisions about working or take any work-related action until you talk to us first.

What Makes Ritchie Law Firm Different?

Many Virginia lawyers say they practice Social Security Disability law.  But, most of those lawyers have not had years of experience winning Social Security Disability cases.  That’s what makes us different.  At the Ritchie Law Firm, we have a team of lawyers who have the experience of handling Social Security Disability cases and WINNING.  Sure, we also handle personal injury cases.  But, Social Security Disability cases are a different beast.  And, we know how to handle them.

If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, our disability team will review your denial letter for FREE.  Then, with no obligation and NO STRINGS ATTACHED, we’ll tell you our game plan for winning your case.

If you want your disability case handled by a team of lawyers trained to handle this difficult area of the law that few lawyers know the first thing about, your search is over.  Whatever stage of applying for benefits you are in, whether you haven’t yet applied or you’ve been denied, we are happy to help.  Click here to give us some details about your case.

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