Anticipated Determination Wait Time For Social Security Disability Applications

by on December 7, 2011

The quantity of time it takes for a SSDI application to be determined as either approved or denied is contingent upon  the level of the consecutive assessment at which the award is made.  The Social Security Administration estimates that the initial benefit application takes between 90 and 120 days for a response, but in practice, filings can take as long as eight months to complete.  The appeals process for denied claims can take anywhere between 90 days and well over a year to get a hearing, depending on the caseload.  At the beginning application level, the majority of the waiting time is taken waiting for medical treating sources to respond with sufficient medical information to document the disability claim (medical records).

 

TIMETABLE OF AVERAGE WAIT TIMES FOR DETERMINATION ON SSDI CLAIMS

The following is a table of average wait times for determinations on Social Security Disability claims, per the Social Security Administration.  The listed times include denials and awards.

Level

Name

Wait time (days)

1 Initial application 101
2 Reconsideration No data
3 Hearing 491
4 Appeals Council 261
5 Federal District Court No data

*This information was current through the end of the 2009 fiscal year.

The 10 states with the longest wait times are Alabama, the District of Columbia (D.C.), Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

 

LIKELIHOOD OF BEING AWARDED SSDI BENEFITS

On a national level, at the application stage the award rate was 36%, and  the denial rate was 64%.  At the reconsideration stage 14% of the cases won and 86% lost.  At the hearing level, the amount of winning cases was 63%, a dismissal rate of 16%, and a denial rate of 21%.  At the appeals council level, the approval rate was 2%, the dismissal rate was 2%, 22% were remanded for a new trial and 73% lost.  At the federal court level, 5% were approved, 8% were dismissed, 47% were remanded for a new hearing, and 40% were denied.

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