If you have been denied at your Social Security hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), you may end up having to file an appeal to the Social Security Appeals Council.
In my experience handling Social Security disability cases in Colorado, it can take between 6 – 18 months to get a decision back from the Appeals Council.
However, even if you “win” the appeal, that is not the end of your case. In the vast majority of cases, the Appeals Council does not approve benefits outright. Normally, they simply send the case back for another hearing with instructions to the ALJ on what should be done next time.
When your case gets sent back to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), it may take another 6-18 months for the second hearing to be scheduled.
Altogether, you may be looking at 12 to 36 months before you get another chance to present your case even if you “win” your case at the Appeals Council!
Note: wait times at the Appeals Council, and particularly at the various ODAR offices around the country, vary quite a bit, so take this estimate with a grain of salt and get up to date information from a lawyer in your area.