Social security claim document on a desk.

General Timeline of a Disability Claim

At Marken Law Group, PS, we have encountered plenty of frustrated claimants whose attorneys did not apprise them of the wait time involved in a typical claim. They try to reach their attorney for answers and all they get is a lawyer response.

The timelines, typically, for a Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income claim, are:

1) Initial Application Filed: If denied, denial letter in 2-6 months.

2) Reconsideration Filed: If denied at Step 2, denial letter in 2 weeks-9months.

3) Request for Hearing Before a Judge: If requested, wait time is shortened if you are a select few who qualify for

“DIRE NEED,” examples being proof of foreclosure, etc., or if you are military. Otherwise, typical wait times vary by region but in Spokane, for example, wait times are 18-24 MONTHS. Spokane ranked 150 out of 164 regions in typical wait time but No. 1 was still well over a year.

The following article also highlights the difficulty of the extended wait times.

Can you work? Yes and no. If you make over $1000.00 per month GROSS (before taxes) it will be considered substantial gainful activity and you will likely lose your claim or have a “closed period” at best.

4) After your hearing has been concluded, you still have to wait for a, lengthy, written decision which takes 2weeks-9months!

5) If you are successful, it will likely be another 2-3 months after a FAVORABLE decision before you receive benefits!

6) If you receive an “UNFAVORABLE DECISION,” your options are to file an appeal with the Appeals Council for review or drop your claim.

7) If you appeal to “The Council,” they typically deny review in 12-18 MONTHS! Your final option then is filing a Complaint in the United States District Court in your region.

8) Ironically, this is one of the quickest steps. Complaint to briefing to a judge’s decision is seen usually in 6-12 MONTHS!

From the date you first apply to, potentially, a United States District Court judge’s decision, could be up to 5 years. But keep hope, if you win your claim you will get every month of benefits for which you were found disabled!

At Marken Law Group, PS, we help people navigate the Social Security Administration from initial filings to appeals, preparation and representation at hearings, to Federal Court complaints. We work for you!

No Benefits; No FEE! Call today for a free consultation!