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Disability hearing how long do I have to wait?

If you have filed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and were denied several times you may be waiting for your Social Security Disability hearing. In fact, you may have been waiting over a year for your hearing. Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “I have been waiting over twelve months for my disability hearing and there is still no word from the SSA. How much longer will I have to wait?”

One thing you can count on is the inefficiency of the Federal Government. Unfortunately, it’s not just long lines at the post office we have to worry about anymore. If you are waiting for a SSDI or SSI hearing you better grab your coffee, sit back, put your feet up, and get ready to wait.

In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that if you are waiting for a disability hearing it is likely you will wait over a year just to have your hearing scheduled. Let’s look at some of the statistics offered by the ODAR or the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.

Figures from the ODAR for SSDI hearing wait times:

The good news, which is not very good, is that in some parts of the country you will wait less than other parts. The bad news- there is only one hearing location with an average wait time of less than 12 months. Listed below is the amount of days on average for a hearing to be scheduled for each of the regions in the U.S.

Region I (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island) 354 days.
Region II (New York, Puerto Rico and New Jersey) 484 days.
Region III 348 days (Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC).
Region IV (Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Illinois) 421 days.
Region V (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) 501 days.
Region VI (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana) 393 days.
Region VII (Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas) 390 days.
Region VIII (Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Utah) 402 days.
Region IX (California, Nevada, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona) 290 days.
Region X (Oregon, Washington, and Alaska) 539 days

How long after the disability hearing until I receive my decision?


Data from the ODAR also notes that the amount of time for a decision after the hearing is held is (on average) anywhere from 50 to 80 days. This means that after you have had your hearing and the judge has made their decision it could take up to 80 days to receive your notification of acceptance or denial for SSDI or SSI benefits.

What do I do while I wait for my disability hearing?


If you have waited months for your disability hearing you may be in a desperate situation. Unfortunately, there are no good answers to the question, “What do I do while I wait for payments?” Some claimants rely on family members and friends, some use their credit cards, some have saved money for emergencies, and some are supported by their spouses. Others are forced to rely on social services from the city, state or Federal Government.


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