How long does it take to a get a decision following my Social Security Hearing?

Kayla Moreland , May 13, 2015

After many months or even years of waiting for a hearing, it is common for clients to want to know the Judge’s decision right away.  Unfortunately, there is no time limit placed upon the Judges to issue a decision within a certain amount of time.  Although the average length of time to get a decision is around 60 days, some Judges issue their decisions quickly, and others much more slowly.  There are various reasons for the difference in waiting time to get a decision.  In some cases, the ALJ may decide that he needs more information from a doctor before a decision can be issued.  Some Judges rely more heavily on decision writers to write all of their decisions, while others do the majority of their own writing.  Hearing offices do not have a standard amount of decision writers, and some offices actually rely on decision writers from other parts of the country to write the decisions for them before sending them back to the ALJ for editing.  The Judges’ own schedules and obligations can also be a factor in the timeline.  For example, some Judges are put on special assignments that take them out of the hearing office for months at a time.  These special assignments can cause delays in getting the decisions mailed out timely to the claimants.

It is important to understand that your attorneys cannot control how quickly the decision is issued.  BUT -we can keep you informed of where in the process your decision is. SSA allows us online access to view the status of our claims.  We are able to log on and track the decision to see if it is still with the ALJ for review, or whether it has moved on to the decision writing staff.  If it has been over 60 days since your hearing, and you would like to know the status of your decision, please contact our office.

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