Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Social Security Disability Wait Times - Law Office Of Katherine Roe

Social Security Disability Wait Times

Social Security wait times for disability determinations are excruciatingly long. Initial application
and appeal decisions vary in processing times, and waits may differ depending on the local
office. Below is an idea of how much time, on a national average, it takes for an applicant to
receive a decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Filing an Initial SSDI/SSI Application
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, the average processing time for initial applications was 217.5 days, up
from 103.2 days in FY 2016. Preliminary data from FY 2024 shows the average time has
increased to 229 days. SSA hopes to bring that number down, with a projected goal of 215 days
in FY 2025. The Agency hopes to decrease wait times by hiring approximately four hundred
more Disability Examiners (DE) to review cases. DEs are licensed medical professionals who
review an applicant’s medical records. Yet, wait times will still be approximately seven months,
and only 38% of applicants are approved at this level.

If your initial application is not approved, you can ask SSA to reconsider your application. This is
called filing a request for reconsideration. In FY 2023, the average processing time for
reconsiderations was 213 days, up from 103 days in FY 2016. Unfortunately, only about 15% of
cases are approved at Reconsideration, so most applicants must go before an Administrative Law
Judge (ALJ) to appeal their claim.

ALJ Hearing
The processing time for appeal claims waiting to be heard by an ALJ is 333 days on average
nationally. That is down from an average wait time of 605 days in 2017. SSA hopes to decrease
the wait time to 270 by the end of FY 2025.

While some individuals will be approved at the initial application, and others may have to appeal
even beyond the ALJ level, two years is a good idea of how long a typical SSDI/SSI claim takes
from start to finish.

Request a Free Consultation