How Long Does a Social Security Appeal Take?

The evaluation of an appeal in a Social Security disability claim can take anywhere from a few months to two years. It really depends on several factors: from the jurisdiction where you live to which individual Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hears your case. However, generally speaking, the following is a guideline of how long each stage of the disability process takes:

  • It typically takes 3 to 4 months from the time you apply until you receive the first decision. If you are denied, in Florida you have the right to file a Request for Reconsideration.
  • If you file a Recon Request, it could take another 3 or 4 months to receive the Notice of Reconsideration.
  • If you are denied on Reconsideration, you will file a Request for Hearing. It can take another 12 to 18 months before you have a Hearing before an ALJ.

After the hearing, you will typically receive a copy of the ALJ’s decision anywhere from 1-to-2 months to many months, depending on the ALJ.

Again, these are very rough estimates because Social Security’s wait time lines are constantly changing and the SSA’s procedures are constantly changing. Moreover, the case load that Social Security is processing to deal with can be very high.