How long does it take to get a decision after I apply for disability benefits?

The following answer is from:

The time it takes to get a decision on your disability application can vary depending on:

  • The nature of your disability;
  • How quickly we can get your medical evidence from your doctor or other medical source;
  • Whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination; and
  • Whether we review your application for quality purposes.

If you would like to apply for disability benefits, you can use our online application.

Applying online for disability benefits offers several advantages:

  • You can start your disability application immediately. There is no need to wait for an appointment;
  • You can apply from the convenience of your home, or on any computer; and
  • You can avoid trips to a Social Security office, saving you time and money.

You can log in or create a my Social Security account to check the status of your pending application. 

The following answer is Attorney Walter Hnot’s annotated response to the previous answer. 

Ok, so did they answer how long it takes to get a disability decision…?  No, not even a little bit.  There was no numerical timeline response anywhere in that answer.  The answer is good, it’s just missing this (usually around):

Initial Filing: 4-6 months

Reconsideration: 4-6 months

ALJ Hearing: 18-24 months + 3-4 months for the decision brief after the hearing

Appeals Council: 9-24 months

Federal District Court: 9-24 months

Federal Circuit Court: 9-24 months

Supreme Court: Let me know if you get certiorari and then we will talk about it.

Keep in mind, if you have stage four cancer at 64, it might take days or weeks.  If you have COPD… kind of, at 36, back of the line buddy.  Also, keep in mind that attorneys speed this process up; however, this is balanced against an ever-growing mass filing overload issue at the SSA.