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Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration handles several important federal programs. Many contact me each month with questions about their retirement and Medicare, as well as their applications for disability benefits. Here are a few of the most common questions my office receives that deal with this agency:

How long does it take to process Social Security Disability claims?

An application for Social Security Disability can take from 6 weeks to several years to process, depending on a variety of factors. For more information, visit the Social Security Disability Benefits page.

Visit the Social Security Office Locator to find your local Social Security office.

The times below are only estimates, but are representative of what people in the district have experienced over the past few years:

Initial Processing - 6 to 8 weeks

- Some cases are approved in this first step. If your case is denied at this level, you are encouraged to apply for Reconsideration.

Reconsideration - 6 to 8 weeks

- Like the Initial Processing, this step is completed through paperwork. If your case is denied here, you are encouraged to request a hearing in front of an Administration Law Judge.

Hearings and Appeals - 9 to 12 months

- An Administrative Law Judge will hear your claim at this level. It usually takes 9 to 12 months to obtain a hearing. It can take a few months longer to receive a decision. You may want to consider hiring an attorney or other qualified individual to help represent you in your hearing. If you are denied at this level, you may appeal your case to the Appeals Council.

Appeals Council - 24 to 36 months

- If your claim is not approved by the Appeals Council, your only other recourse is legal action.  My office is prohibited by law from participating in any case involving litigation. 

What can the Congressman do to help with my Disability claim?

I am always happy to help constituents who need assistance with a disability claim. However, there are limits to what I can do. At my request, Social Security officials will "flag" a particular case and keep me updated throughout the process. This communication can help a person understand what is happening with their case so they can make other decisions regarding their life and family.

However, I cannot act as the "representative" on a person's disability paperwork. You may want to consider hiring an attorney to help you with this. My actions will not affect the work done by the person you select as your representative.

I do not have the authority to overturn any decision made by the Social Security Administration.

After you file the paperwork for disability benefits with your local Social Security office, I would be pleased to follow the progress of your claim. If you would like my help, please contact one of my district offices.

How can I get information about my Social Security retirement benefits?

Your local Social Security office can help you with this issue. Visit the Social Security Office Locator to find your local Social Security office.

Social Security Website

Medicare Website

If you would like my help with a Social Security issue, please contact my office for a privacy release form.