How Long Do Appeals Take?

The following scenario is all too common: An individual applying for SSDI or SSI benefits takes days and weeks preparing documentation, filling out forms, writing up letters, and mailing out applications, only to have to wait a few weeks or months to receive back a denial letter.

While some people may call it quits there, some individuals look into filing for appeals.

The nature of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits is that they are needed in order for individuals suffering with a disability or impairment to be able to support themselves. As such, they are usually needed immediately.

This causes many individuals who file for appeals to become anxious, and begin looking for answers to “how long does the appeals process take?”

Unfortunately, there is no one answer. The Social Security Administration will sometimes say that 90-120 days are required for any initial decision, but in practice, this does not apply to appeals.

Furthermore, medical evidence and documentation will have to be gone over again, and as such, those with more evidence will require more time to re-evaluate.

Finally, the DDS claims examiner that your particular appeal is assigned to could have any number of cases. You might get lucky and be assigned to an examiner who only has 80 cases, or you might get stuck with an examiner who is currently working 350.

Evidence will show that the first level of appeals, known as reconsiderations, commonly take about 4 months to complete. If hearings are requested, then those are usually assigned 9-12 months out.

It is not uncommon to hear about reconsiderations that take upwards of 6 months, however.

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