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How Long Will the Social Security Disability Appeal Process Take?

After you file your application, you may wonder how long the appeal process will take. The short answer is, it can take a long time. The wait between filing your application to the date of your hearing, can take up to two years. The Social Security Disability appeal process can be frustrating and confusing. It is also a long wait for your day in court. Your Salt Lake City Social Security Disability Lawyer has limited ability to speed up the process. But at Cannon Disability Law, we do everything we can to make sure there are no case delays. We ask for your help in obtaining medical records during the process. The more information we can present to the SSA, the better chance we have of winning the case at an earlier stage.

Below you will find an overview of the SSA disability process. This includes an estimated waiting time at each stage of your case. Cannon Disability Law typically wins cases at the hearing stage, because this is when we argue your case before a judge. Throughout the wait for a court date, we ask you to maintain a good relationship with your doctors. Good relationships with your doctors helps us collect your medical records. We need your medical records in order to build a winning case.

The best thing you can do to help yourself during this process is to bring us all of your medical records as soon as you become our client. When we have your records, we understand your medical issues and how they are preventing you from working. When the judge understands your impairments, you have a better chance of winning your case. If you have questions about how to collect medical records or how to find a physician who can help you with your physical or mental health, call or contact us. Contact us for free now.

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Filing Your Application

1-4 weeks
We will help you file your application with the SSA. The local SSA office will evaluate your claim to see if you meet the technical requirements for disability. We will file your claim for you. However, we need your help to provide us with the names of your doctors, your medications, and a description of your disability. In addition, we will need your help to provide your work history to the SSA. If you file an application for SSI, you will need to sign the application before it is mailed in.

SSD Appeal Process

The Initial Stage

Approximate processing time:
 3-6 months
If your case passes technical review, the local SSA office will transfer the case to the state Disability Determination Services (DDS) for medical review. DDS reviews the case using their doctors. A claims examiner will make the determination of whether or not you are disabled. Usually, the claims examiner relies upon the medical opinion of their doctor. Updated medical records are crucial at this point. It is important for the DDS doctor and the claims examiner to know about your disability. In addition, they need to know your doctor’s medical opinion. If we can submit information from your doctor at this stage, it will help you win the case.

Social Security Disability Appeal Process Initial Stage

Reconsideration Stage

Approximate processing time:
​3-6 months
If your claim is denied at the Initial stage, we will file a Reconsideration appeal. Then, your case is sent back to DDS for another medical review. Again, submitting current records will help. If your case is not granted at this stage, we will file a Request for Hearing. Once a Request for Hearing is filed, it can take up to a year for the hearing to be scheduled. During this time you can do many things to help prepare your case. For example, you can go to the doctor, collect medical records, and submit those records to our office.

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Hearing Stage

The SSA will schedule your hearing at the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) that is closest to you. Your hearing will be held before an Administrative Law Judge. You will be asked questions. We prepare you for the questions that the Judge will ask. Don’t worry. You will not be alone when you go into the courtroom. You will have your representative with you. Additionally, your representative will often be the person asking you questions. If you want to know more about the hearing, please read our blog. For example, What Questions Will the Judge Ask At My Disability Hearing, would be a good place to start.

We represent our clients every day in court. Because we have court experience, you will have a better chance of winning your case. We know the appeal process takes too long, but we are with you every step of the way. Contact us today to start your disability claim.

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