Sunday, July 15, 2012
How Long Does a Claim for Social Security Benefits Take?
The initial application for disability benefits is handled by the local social security office. In San Diego, the Social Security Administration contracts with the California Department of Disability Services to develop the case. This department will order and obtain records and employ medical doctors to review records and provide opinions as to the functional capacity of the claimant. Essentially, they are providing their opinions as to the claimant's maximum work capacity. This stage typically takes approximately 4 to 6 months. If the Decision is unfavorable, an appeal known as a Request for Reconsideration needs to be filed within 60 days. This appeal is also handled by the local social security office and is again referred out to the Department of Disability Services for further development and evaluation. The Reconsideration phase typically takes an additional 3 to 5 months.
If the Request for Reconsideration is unfavorable, a Request for a Hearing needs to be filed within 60 days. In San Diego, the average wait for a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge is 12.5 months. The wait times vary widely between the various Hearings Offices throughout the country. For a current publication issued by the Social Security Administration detailing the average wait time, click on the link below. A request for an expedited hearing can be made under certain circumstances. For details, please call our office at 619-278-0900.
Posted by Tony DeLellis at 10:58 PM