How Long Before I Get A Decision?
Adjudication times can vary widely depending on a number of factors. These factors include: the availability of medical evidence, the level of detail presented in the original application, the geographic region in which the claim is adjudicated. Clearly, there are a number of things you cannot control. Some things are within your control to help the process go as efficiently as possible. First, gather as many medical records as you can and have them available when you fill out your application. Second, provide as much relevant, truthful information as possible on your application, disability report, and work history report. It is sometimes painful to realize the severity of your impairments. Don’t be afraid to tell it like it is. We live in a culture that tends to minimize problems. Doing so on your application can lead to delays or even denials of worthy claims.
A number of organization, including the Social Security Administration, attorney groups, and social service organizations, collect data regarding the time it takes for claims to be adjudicated. According to a number of sources, the average time for the initial determination is about 4 months. If the matter proceeds to request for reconsideration, the average time is an additional 3 months. If the request for reconsideration is denied, and the matter proceeds to the hearing stage, the time from filing the appeal to receiving a determination on the appeal can be 18 months or longer. These are averages, and the time it takes for a decision to be rendered in your particular claim may be longer or shorter. In reality, it is not possible to say beforehand how long a particular adjudication will take. At a minimum, you should expect to have your claim in process for at least a few months, and possibly a year or more.