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FAQs: Social Security

How long does it take to process Social Security Disability claims?

An application for Social Security Disability can take from 6 weeks to several years to handle, depending on a variety of factors. For more information, visit the Social Security Disability Benefits Social Security Disability Benefits page.

The times below are merely estimates, but represent what people in the district have experienced over the past few years:

  • Initial Processing - 6 to 8 weeks
    • Some cases are approved in this first step. If your case is denied at this level, you are encouraged to apply for Reconsideration.
  • Reconsideration - 6 to 8 weeks
    • Like the Initial Processing, this is all done through paperwork. If your case is denied here, you are encouraged to request a hearing in front of an Administration Law Judge.
  • Hearings and Appeals - 9 to 12 months
    • An Administrative Law Judge will hear your claim at this level. It usually takes 9 to 12 months to get a hearing. It can take a few months longer to get a decision. You may want to get an attorney or other qualified individual to help represent you in your hearing. If you are denied at this level, you can appeal your case to the Appeals Council.
  • Appeals Council - 24 to 36 months
    • If your claim is not approved by the Appeals Council, your only option is to file a lawsuit if you want to continue your claim.

What can my Congressman's office do to help with my Disability claim?

We are always happy to help constituents who need assistance with a disability claim. However, there are limits to what my office can do. At my request, Social Security officials will "flag" a particular case and keep me updated throughout the process. This communication can really help a person understand what is happening with their case, so they can make other decisions regarding their life and family.

However, our office cannot act as the "representative" on a person's disability paperwork. You may want an attorney to help you with this. Our actions will not affect the work done by the person you select as your representative. I also do not have the authority to overturn any decision made by the Social Security Administration.

After you file the paperwork for disability benefits with your local Social Security office, my office would be pleased to follow the progress of your claim. If you would like our help, please fill out a privacy release form and my office will get in touch with you.

How can I get information about my Social Security retirement benefits?

Your local Social Security office can help you with this issue. Visit the Social Security Administration's website to find the nearest local office.

Request Help or Contact My Office

If you would like to request our help with an issue involving Social Security, please fill out a privacy release form and my office will get in touch with you.

If you have question or comments about a Social Security issue, feel free to contact my office.