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Administrative hearing when will I get my decision?

If you have had your Social Security Disability hearing and you are waiting for the judge to issue their written opinion you may already have waited months or years just to get to this point. Recently on our forum a user asked, “I had my hearing over thirty days ago and I still have not heard anything from the judge. How much longer will have to wait?”


Administrative hearing decision can take a long time

The good news, if you have already had your administrative hearing, is that you have gotten this far and the end may be near, especially if you think the judge will rule in your favor. According to experts, the amount of time it will take the administrative judge to issue their opinion could depend on a variety of factors:

  1. Did the court have to request additional medical information?

Unfortunately, even though many claimants have over a year to prepare for the administrative hearing, it is not unusual for hearings to be held without all of the claimant’s medical records in hand. If the court has requested that the attorney obtain more medical records the judge may hold the case open until he has time to review all the medical information for the claim.

  1. The complexity of the SSDI case.

If a claimant has a more complicated case or if the court requires them to go see a consultative examiner after the hearing, it will take additional time to review the case. Judges generally do not ask for the claimant to go to a consultative examination (this should have been done much earlier in the disability process), but it can happen, and when it does, it slows down the SSDI or SSI case.

  1. There have been a large number of cases heard by this judge or the hearing office.

Judges issue decisions for disability claims, but they do not write the final decision. In fact, the hearing office has a group of decision writers who are responsible for completing this task. If there have been a large number of cases heard, this can delay this process.

How do I found out the status of my case?

If it has been more than 90 days from the date of the hearing it may be time to follow up and find out the status of your claim. If you have hired a disability lawyer they can do this for you. If you have not hired a lawyer you will need to contact the hearing office directly. Generally, you will get a nondescript answer such as the case is “pending,” but in some instances there may be a task that has not been done that needs to be expedited.

Denied at the hearing level

If you have received the disability determination and it is unfavorable you have several options: file another appeal and request the Advisory Council to review your claim or start the process again by filing another initial application.
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