How Long Does It Take for a Reconsideration for SSI or SSDI?

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Question

I just received a notice of denial on my disability claim from Social Security and found out I need to request a reconsideration review before I can get an ALJ hearing. But I was also told hardly anyone is granted benefits after the reconsideration. How long is this review going to take?

Answer

In most cases, a Social Security disability or SSI reconsideration will not take as long as an initial claim (in other words, the disability application). It is not unusual to get a decision on a reconsideration within eight weeks. But a reconsideration can also take more or less time; there's no way to really know how long yours will take. 

Typically, however, the amount of processing time needed is determined largely by:

  • How long it takes the disability examiner to receive any new medical records. If you noted that you had seen the doctor or had tests since your original application date, the claims examiner will send for your new treatment notes and test results. If you didn't mention in your reconsideration request that you had been to the doctor recently, the claims examiner won't request any new records.
  • How backed up the disability examiner is. Is the examiner overworked? Does he or she have a huge caseload to deal with?
  • Whether or not there are special circumstances involved. For example, individuals who have suffered certain medical trauma, such as a heart attack, may have the processing of their disability case delayed for several months in order to ascertain the residual effects of their illness. 

Learn more about the reconsideration review.

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