As anyone applying for Social Security Disability can tell you, the process can take a long time. Every day, several thousand applications are filed, making it hard for Social Security to review everyone’s claim in a timely matter. There are four different stages in the process, and there is a waiting time associated with each stage.
1. Initial Level
The average waiting time to get an initial decision is about 4-6 months. It isn’t uncommon to be denied at this stage.
2. Reconsideration Level
If you receive an initial denial, you have the option to appeal the decision. Once an appeal has been filed, the average wait time to receive a second decision is about 3-4 months.
3. Hearing Level
If you receive a second denial at the reconsideration level, you may request a hearing before one of Social Security’s Administrative Law Judges. Most claims have the highest chance of getting approved at the hearing level. Currently, the average wait time to have a hearing scheduled is between 18 and 22 months. After the hearing, the judge will issue a decision. The average wait time to receive this decision is about 2-4 months after the hearing.
4. Appeals Council Level
If you received an unfavorable decision from the judge, you have the option to appeal that decision. This process takes anywhere from 18-24 months after filing the appeal.
Contact Mountain West Disability for more information.