Answer: Usually between 3 and 6 Months depending on your local office.
Reconsideration Level of Appeal:
Once an initial application is denied for Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, a disabled claimant (you) has 60 days to appeal the decision to the local SSA office. Similar to the initial application, your claim will be processed by the local SSA office and then sent over to the state agency DDS to be worked up and evaluated using your medical records and any information you have provided on your application or your appeal documents. Additionally, during this time, DDS may send you for an examination with a doctor hired by Social Security to evaluate you and make a recommendation back to Social Security as to what your level of functioning is. Unfortunately, this examination is typically very short and rarely thorough. Never the less, somehow after only examining a claimant for 3 minutes, a doctor is able to give Social Security a “professional” opinion as to whether the claimant could perform various types of work.
It is because Social Security uses these “Medical Experts” that many claims are denied. Social Security doctors have been trained on exactly which tests to perform and your doctor doesn’t perform the same tests. It is often essential for an attorney to contact your doctor and ask for specific testing to be done in order to fight against Social Security’s medical experts. NOTE: at Jorgensen Law we contact each of our client’s doctors to obtain the necessary information to prove your disability. Once we have that information, we prepare it and present it to Social Security according to the required Rules of Federal Procedure. Naturally, if your doctor doesn’t believe you are disabled, then the results won’t be good. Therefore, you must continually inform your treating physician of all the mental and physical problems you are experiencing. Also, do not forget to tell your doctors about any side effects you are having from taking your medication.
If your “Request for Reconsideration” is denied (sadly most of them are), you will receive a notice from Social Security with explanation as to why you are not disabled enough to qualify for disability benefits. Please, do not be discouraged by the letter you receive. The Social Security Administration does a remarkable job at making you feel like you don’t have a valid claim. You must not believe them! Before you give up, please either contact Jorgensen Law at 1-888-855-2948 or fill out one of our Free Evaluation Forms. We help people like you with disability because we love helping people. Like the “good” teachers often say, “the only bad questions are the ones not asked”.
Once the denial letter arrives, you have 60 days to appeal the decision. From this point, you are asking Social Security to give you an appointment to have your case heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Unfortunately, this time your wait is much longer than the two first stages of the process. Typically for a hearing you are looking at between 8 months and 18 months depending on which hearing office you are requesting a hearing from. There may be a few things we can do to push your case to the front of the line, but check with us first to see if you qualify.