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How long does the "reconsideration" process a for social security disability claim usually take?

Auburn, NY |

my wife has been disabled for almost 2 years now after an auto accident. she applied over a year and a half ago for ssdi benefits and so far was denied on the first round. most of her medical problems were diagnosed after her first denial and now that she's awaiting the reconsideration review, there is alot more compelling evidence to support her claim. my question is: how soon til we can expect a decision and how likely will it be for an approval this time around?

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Attorney answers 4


Some recent nationwide statistics from the Social Security Administration show that:

a) Initial Applications are denied approximately 65% of the time and these take 3-4 months on average to process, but can take six months or more.

b) Requests for Reconsideration (the first appeal) are denied about 78% of the time and these also take 3-4 months on average to process, but can take six months or more.

c) Hearings before a Social Security ALJ (the second appeal) are approved about 65% of the time - the wait to get to a hearing varies greatly depending on which hearing office you are dealing with (they time varies from 10 to 24 months), in our area the current wait is approximately 16 months (it has been as high as 25 months in the past five years).

In my opinion you should get an attorney as early in the process as possible as the fees are set by Social Security law and would be the same regardless if you hire the attorney the week before your hearing or the day you applied originally.

Contact NOSSCR to find a Social Security attorney in your area, look for one offering a free no-obligation initial consultation (most do) then meet with one or more and sign up with one you are comfortable with.

NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service - For help in finding attorney representation, contact its lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours:


Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


My colleage has given you good advice. In Ohio, it takes 4 to 6 months each to get a decision at the initial and reconsideration levels, and then another 9 to 18 months from the time you request a hearing until you actually get a hearing and decision (that is down from 24 to 28 months!!). So, you may still expect some delays.

I especially concur on the advice to consider getting an attorneyas early as possible. Many clients can file a claim without need of an attorney. However, once you have been denied the first time, the majority of all cases are denied again - in some states up to 80 to 90% are denied the second time. By getting counsel early, you can avoid doing duplicate forms, avoid multiple exams by SSA doctors, and most importantly start making the best record for the eventual hearing you are likely to need.

I wish you good luck!!

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I am sorry to hear about your situation. I don't know how long it will take, but perhaps you should speak with your attorney who will know. If you did it on your own you might be able to contact a local attorney who can tell you.

I wish you the best of luck.

Please remember that I do not normally monitor these questions after I have posted a reply but you can contact me as indicated below.

Complimentary phone consultations
Hayley Greenberg
Greenberg & Merola, LLP
Attorneys at Law
521 5th Ave. Ste. 1700
New York, NY 10175
(212) 593-6111, facsimile (516) 887-1720
(Additional offices: Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island)


All of the advice you have been given is very good. However, if it has been more than six months since your wife filed her request for reconsideration, I would contact your local SSA office and inquire. In my practice we track all our submissions and send them certified mail. On average the SSA loses filings or fails to notify us of denials about 20% of the time. Consequently, without proof, you may lose time and benefits. If you wait for an answer, you might keep waiting and waiting.

Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law regarding your question. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.

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