April 24, 2019

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.