Category: Helping Hands Blog
Published: Monday, 24 March 2014 11:42
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US-mapSocial Security Disability Wait Times

When a person files for Social Security disability benefits he or she can wait from three to six months to hear the results, which in most cases is a denial. The first appeal can take another three months and is also usually a denial. The next appeal provides the greatest opportunity for a person to receive disability benefits. This appeal is heard before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and provides an opportunity for the person applying for disability benefits to personally plead their case and provide context for the written documents already provided. On average, most cases have about a 45% chance of being approved after an appeals hearing.

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How long is the wait between the second denial and my appeals hearing?”

As of May, 2014 the national average is almost twelve months.

 

One of the best websites we’ve found to monitor length of time for disability hearings is www.DisabilityJudges.com. This website breaks out wait times by state all the way down to regional offices and also provides each judge’s awards ratio.

Here is a view by state as it appears on Disability Judge’s website as of March 10, 2014. You can click a state’s name and view regions and judges .

State

Offices

Judges

Avg. Hearing
Wait Time

Average
Processing Time

Avg. Dispositions
Per Day Per ALJ

Cases
Dismissed

Cases
Approved

Cases
Denied

Alabama

4

51

12.0 months

423 days

2.0

20%

44%

36%

Alaska

1

2

7.0 months

288 days

2.0

32%

14%

54%

Arizona

3

18

9.7 months

351 days

2.0

19%

44%

37%

Arkansas

2

19

8.5 months

340 days

2.1

16%

47%

37%

California

18

134

9.9 months

343 days

1.9

17%

48%

35%

Colorado

2

20

10.5 months

339 days

2.0

22%

43%

34%

Connecticut

2

12

11.5 months

395 days

1.8

18%

44%

38%

Delaware

1

5

15.0 months

501 days

1.8

22%

36%

42%

Florida

8

91

15.1 months

496 days

1.8

20%

44%

36%

Georgia

6

68

13.5 months

471 days

1.5

19%

45%

36%

Hawaii

1

3

7.0 months

246 days

2.7

11%

67%

23%

Illinois

6

64

11.3 months

391 days

1.4

17%

41%

42%

Indiana

4

35

11.5 months

383 days

1.9

14%

45%

41%

Iowa

1

8

11.5 months

407 days

1.8

18%

40%

42%

Kansas

2

14

10.8 months

382 days

1.9

21%

32%

48%

Kentucky

4

29

12.3 months

392 days

2.4

15%

43%

43%

Louisiana

4

40

8.0 months

311 days

2.1

20%

41%

39%

Maine

1

7

14.0 months

387 days

1.9

23%

48%

29%

Maryland

2

29

16.5 months

511 days

0.8

25%

43%

33%

Massachusetts

3

27

11.5 months

375 days

2.1

20%

45%

35%

Michigan

7

64

10.9 months

364 days

2.1

16%

46%

38%

Minnesota

1

13

11.5 months

366 days

2.5

15%

49%

37%

Mississippi

3

28

14.3 months

455 days

2.1

16%

40%

44%

Missouri

6

74

12.3 months

423 days

1.6

19%

40%

41%

Montana

1

6

11.0 months

328 days

2.1

20%

46%

34%

Nebraska

1

6

14.0 months

411 days

1.8

23%

49%

28%

Nevada

2

9

8.5 months

290 days

2.0

18%

37%

45%

New Hampshire

1

6

13.0 months

381 days

2.1

25%

37%

39%

New Jersey

3

29

11.3 months

408 days

1.7

18%

53%

28%

New Mexico

2

16

12.5 months

415 days

1.0

18%

51%

32%

New York

10

91

11.9 months

406 days

1.7

20%

49%

30%

North Carolina

4

42

14.9 months

487 days

2.1

15%

51%

34%

North Dakota

1

7

10.0 months

318 days

2.2

13%

48%

39%

Ohio

6

65

12.3 months

406 days

1.8

18%

41%

41%

Oklahoma

3

26

11.0 months

394 days

2.0

20%

43%

37%

Oregon

2

21

12.8 months

428 days

1.9

19%

41%

41%

Pennsylvania

8

75

13.0 months

415 days

2.1

25%

40%

35%

Puerto Rico

3

11

8.2 months

354 days

2.7

14%

57%

29%

Rhode Island

1

7

7.0 months

255 days

2.3

23%

35%

42%

South Carolina

3

29

13.7 months

455 days

2.0

15%

47%

38%

Tennessee

6

62

12.8 months

415 days

2.1

15%

50%

35%

Texas

8

89

10.4 months

365 days

2.3

21%

36%

43%

Utah

1

8

11.0 months

351 days

1.6

12%

57%

31%

Virginia

5

42

13.2 months

425 days

1.5

19%

41%

40%

Washington

3

36

11.3 months

380 days

1.8

22%

40%

38%

Washington Dc

1

8

13.0 months

427 days

1.6

21%

45%

33%

West Virginia

3

26

14.0 months

462 days

2.0

15%

40%

45%

Wisconsin

2

19

12.5 months

393 days

1.7

20%

32%

48%

National Average:

11.7 months

389 days

1.9

19%

44%

37%

A look at the data suggests some very bad states to be living in when applying for disability. You might consider moving from Alaska which has a staggering 86% denial rate to Hawaii where about 67% of the applicants are awarded benefits after an appeals hearing.

Other states in the top five for denials are Kansas, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Delaware. Top five states with the most wins in addition to Hawaii are Utah, New Jersey, North Carolina and New Mexico.

No matter what state you live in, however, you should consult with your disability attorney and follow their advice for the greatest opportunity for winning the disability benefits you deserve.

 

 

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About the Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers

Recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms, The Cochran Firm handles cases on behalf of clients seeking a Personal Injury Lawyer, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice, Bankruptcy Attorney in Atlanta or Social Security Disability Lawyer.The Firm can be reached at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476) or fill out the form on this page. “Working for You.” Article by Benjamin A. Irwin, Esq.