Social security disability benefits provide aid for those who can no longer work due to an impairment.

But the process of applying for and being approved for these benefits can be a long one. Below we review the timeline.


Once you file an application for disability benefits, it goes through the first stage of review which typically takes between four to six months. On average, only 25% of claims get approved at the initial stage of review. This means that most people will need to file an appeal. During the appeal process, Social Security will take all the same steps and review your case once again. This process is called reconsideration.


The reconsideration phase takes another four to six months. Only 15% to 20% of social security claims get approved at the reconsideration stage so most people need to file yet another appeal requesting a hearing before a social security judge. Fortunately, getting a hearing before a judge is the best chance of getting approval – about 50% of all disability hearings end in allowance of benefits.


If you still don’t get approved at the hearing, you can file one last level of appeal called an appeals council. The appeals council review your entire claim, including the judge’s decision to determine whether the judge followed all the appropriate steps. If they find the judge did not follow the process correctly the appeals council will remand, which sends the case back to the judge for another hearing


The most important thing to consider in this entire process is to file your claim as quickly as possible and to keep fighting along the way.


If you have additional questions about how long it takes to get approved for social security benefits, I want you to call me at 508-732-8989