For most people who file for disability, the road to Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits is a long one. Many applicants will experience financial hardships and mental duress due to a lack of income and the time it takes to receive a Social Security disability decision.
Because disability claims can get stalled during the Social Security disability determination process, it is a good idea to check the status of your disability claim now and then. Sometimes making a timely phone call can lead to action being taken on your disability claim.
For example, if you filed an initial disability claim a few months ago and you haven't heard from the state disability examiner in charge of making your disability claim decision, it's a good idea to check the status of your claim. It's possible that your claim somehow got lost in the shuffle and is still sitting at the local Social Security office.
It's also possible that there's already been a determination on your claim, and for some reason, you haven't received the decision notice. You need to know what Social Security decided as soon as possible. This is particularly important if your disability claim was denied—you only have 60 days from the date of the denial notice to appeal your disability claim.
If you're still waiting for an initial determination (your claim hasn't been denied), you can check the status of your Social Security disability claim by:
The Social Security office where you filed an application for disability benefits will often be unable to tell you much regarding the progress or status of your disability claim unless it got stuck at that office. Generally, your claim will have been sent to a state agency called Disability Determination Services (DDS) soon after you apply.
Calling DDS to get an update from the claims examiner assigned to your claim is typically the most effective way to gather information about what's happening on your SSDI or SSI claim—both for your initial claim and if you've requested reconsideration. To get the phone number for your state's DDS office, visit our state-by-state disability information pages.
If you've received an initial denial and your reconsideration was also denied, your next appeal is a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). If that's the case, you'll need to contact the hearing office to check the status of your claim.
All ALJ hearings are conducted through the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO). And OHO has 10 regional offices overseeing 166 hearing offices. To check your claim status, you'll need to contact the OHO office handling your appeal.
The fastest way to find your local OHO office is by using Social Security's OHO office locator tool. The tool allows you to find your local OHO office's address, phone number, and office hours.
You can also check our state disability information pages; they list the phone numbers for all of the hearing offices in your state.
The least efficient way to find the OHO office handling your appeal is to call Social Security at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) for the contact information. This is an automated system, but if you're willing to wait long enough (sometimes hours), you'll eventually be able to speak to a live person.
Learn more about checking the status of a disability appeal.
Of course, if you're represented by a disability attorney, the lawyer can do a status check for you. Most disability lawyers will perform regular status checks at certain intervals during the processing of your claim or appeal.
Learn how an experienced disability attorney might be able to speed up your case.
Updated December 13, 2022