How Long Do Social Security Disability Appeals Take?

Posted on August 9th, 2018

The length of time for a Social Security Disability Appeal varies, just as each claim varies in detail. No concrete timeline for each step of the appeals process exists, but there are a few facts that can help you understand what is involved in the appeals process:

  • There are no deadlines for disability cases, although the Social Security Administrative will often say that it will take 90-120 days for processing an initial claim; but, in our experience, it can actually take 9 to 12 months many times.
  • An individual’s impairments and medical evidence, and the time need to analyze that evidence, affects the time period for a decision. Some conditions offer an easy decision of disability; others are more complicated.
  • Sometimes a case is assigned to a claims examiner or administrative law judge with three hundred other cases to work on, and sometimes you get lucky and your case is assigned to an examiner or judge who only has ninety cases on their schedule.
  • Nationally, on average, reconsiderations are completed in four months or less, but our experience in our regions is that reconsiderations often take six to nine months.  The national average is that hearings before administrative law judges take place about nine to twelve months after a hearing is requested. But depending on the hearing office where you live, and hearings can take a year to two years, and sometimes more to be scheduled.

Getting Legal Help

The disability team at Eric Buchanan & Associates has handled thousands of social security disability claims, and have helped hundreds of disabled people who have been denied disability insurance and ERISA long term disability claims.  Eric Buchanan is Certified as a Social Security Disability Specialist by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy. Give us a call today at 877-634-2506 or email us at to set up your appointment.