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Question for Social Security Lawyers about ALJ decision time

Las Vegas, NV |

I had my second hearing for SSD benefits in front of the ALJ at the end of October. I'm still waiting for a decision. When I had my first hearing in Jan 2012 (same ALJ) I received the decision (denial letter) exactly 3 weeks later. I know someone who lives in the same city as me that had an ALJ hearing (different judge than me) in 2012 as well and also received a denial letter 3 weeks after the hearing. Just wondering if lawyers in this specialty have noticed that it's taking longer to receive decisions more recently? I've read in some places that say the longer it takes the less likely it is to be approved, but as I mentioned last time I received the denial pretty quickly. Any truth to that statement? Is there anyone I can call to find out if a decision has been made yet?

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

There really is no rhyme or reason to the length of time. Much may have to do with how many decisions the Judge has to have drafted, how big his staff is (staff shortages due to budgetary cuts), and if the judge currently has a relatively high load of claims. That being said, consider trying the 1800 772 1213 number or your local office and ask if they can look up if a decision has been made. One wise guy worker recently said to a friend of mine, "Did you get correspondence from us?" She said, "No." "Then there has not been a decision." Of course, that clueless worker failed to realize that the reason she was asking was because of concerns of lost mail - a growing problem with the current state of the USPS, some believe. Note also that after the Judge's decision goes to you (or at the same time), it goes to a payment center for the numbers to be determined. If you gave them direct deposit information, it may pop into your account and that, of course, will be telling. If that happens, you know the decision got lost in the mail.

Good luck.


If you have a lawyer call them. Also, there is a phone number on your hearing notice which you can call with any questions. Or, if you don't have that you can find online the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review where you case was heard. Good luck.

Any answers provided to questions are for general information only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should seek legal advice for your specific situation.


There are no real ways to predict how long the decisions will take. Sometimes the slam dunk cases take months to receive their decisions. There is no correlation between the value of the case and the amount of time it takes to respond. Most of the time it is more dependent upon how busy the judge is, if the hearing was near a holiday, etc. Just be patient neither you nor your attorney will be able to speed up the process.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by attorney Clint Curtis as general information and not specific legal advice. Specific advice can only be provided after a complete analysis of all information related to the asker. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of the information provided. If you have additional questions please contact the law office.


The standard response time for a Judge to make a decision in Las Vegas is approximately 1-3 months. However, there are things that can delay that standard time: the complexity of your case, the holidays, the amount of hearings that the Las Vegas office is doing. You can always call the Las Vegas ODAR and ask if a decision has been made yet.


I get this question constantly, and the only answer i can give is that the ALJ's can take as long as they want. It is a lose-lose situation for the client. The last thing you want your attorney to do is pester the judge's office about the decision. You run the risk of annoying the judge and having him or her write a an unfavorable's the harsh reality of things.