Expected Timeline for a Disability Appeal

Most initial Social Security disability applications are denied. The qualifications for these benefits are strict, and if even one piece of information on the application is incorrect or missing, it can result in a denial. If you are among the many people who have had a disability application denied, you do not need to worry. You can appeal the decision. It is important to realize that the appeals process has many parts and can be lengthy. Following is a breakdown of the general timetable associated with the appeals process.

The initial application
After you submit your initial application, you likely will not receive an answer from the Social Security Administration for at least three months, and it can be as long as six months.

The reconsideration
After a denial, you can submit an appeal. It usually takes between three and six months for the SSA to reconsider an application that has been appealed.

The hearing
If your denial was not overturned at the reconsideration stage, you can have a hearing in front of a judge. Once you request a hearing, it can take anywhere from one to three years until you get a decision.

The Appeals Council
If your hearing is unsuccessful, you can move on to the Appeals Council. You can get an answer from the Appeals Council in a few months if you are lucky, but often it can take a full year or even longer.

U.S. District Court
The final stage of your appeal is the U.S. District Court. If you take your appeal to this level, it can take at least one year for your appeal. However, it is difficult to determine a firm timeline at this stage, and it can take as many or two or three years for this stage to come to fruition.

It is important to note that this timeline should only be used as a general guideline. The times can vary from case to case depending on factors such as the caseload the staff member assigned to the case has or other extenuating circumstances. If you were denied SSI benefits in Maryland, contact a qualified disability attorney who can help you through the process.

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