December 15, 2018

How Long Does it Take for Social Security to Decide my Disability Claim

How long can you expect to wait – start to finish – for Social Security to make a decision in your case.  The answer depends on the seriousness of your medical condition and whether the evidence clearly shows that you meet a Social Security listing.

Otherwise, be prepared to wait…and wait…and wait.

Given budget cuts at SSA, you could end up waiting up to 3 years for a decision – and that’s with no guarantee that you win.   [Read more…]

Episode 59 – What Does it Mean When the Judge Continued my Case?

Episode 59 Show Notes

In this episode I answer a question from Cheryl, who used the “Send a Voice Message to Jonathan” button on this site to contact me.  Cheryl wants to know if it is a positive or negative sign that the judge continued her recent hearing so she and her lawyer could obtain additional medical records.  She also wants to know how long she may have to wait for a reset hearing.

Resources mentioned in this episode include:

If you have a comment about my answer or about hearing continuances, please post your comment on Twitter, using hashtag #ssdradio59.

Should I Be Concerned About the Judge’s Delay in Issuing my Hearing Decision


I frequently get emails from blog readers all over the country who appeared at a disability hearing several weeks or months previously and they are concerned that they are hearing nothing from the judge.  Sometimes these folks will call the hearing office and the receptionist will tell them that their decision is “in writing.”

Obviously, if you have been waiting 12, 18 or more months, it can be very frustrating to finally get your hearing, then find yourself waiting weeks or months for a decision with no way to get a status update.

Unfortunately, there is no much you can do about this state of affairs.  Social Security personnel – and especially the judges – are overworked and their offices are understaffed.  In most cases the judges rely on “writers” to actually produce the written decisions and if the writers are backlogged, the decisions will be backlogged as well.

Even your attorney probably won’t be able to do much.  When we call the ODAR offices, the front desk receptionist tells us the same thing he tells you – “the decision is in writing – we don’t know when it will be issued.”

In my office I will email the judge if the decision is not released after five months or so.  Sometimes that gets results and sometimes it does not.