Social Security Judge Told Me She Approved My Disability Case

I was recently asked the following question:

The judge at my husband’s hearing said she was going to approve him. She said she would get his letter to him in the next 2 or 3 weeks, but NO letter yet.

Since she approved him during his hearing when will his benefits start?

Continue reading Social Security Judge Told Me She Approved My Disability Case

Is a long wait after the Social Security hearing a bad sign?

While many Social Security disability hearings in Colorado have decisions issued in 45 to 90 days, some cases wait for four, five, even six months without a decision.

I was recently asked if a long wait after a hearing is a bad sign?

I previously wrote about my experience with how long it takes to get a decision after a Social Security hearing. Many lawyers who have been doing Social Security cases for a while can’t help but notice that the longer it takes to get a decision, the greater the chances that the case will be denied. However, that is not the whole story.

Here is my take on this: Continue reading Is a long wait after the Social Security hearing a bad sign?

How long after a consultative examination does it take to get a decision?

How long after Social Security consultative examination to get decisionI was recently asked how long after Social Security sends you to a doctor for a consultative examination will it take to get a decision.

I previously wrote about how long it takes to receive an initial decision after you apply for Social Security disability benefits and how long it takes to get a Social Security hearing.

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for how long it will take to get a decision after the consultative examination. But, you can make a pretty good guess. 

I usually see a decision four to six months after an application for either disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  

So, if Social Security schedules a consultative examination 3 months after the application was filed, as an estimate, you can expect a decision in the next 30 to 90 days.

How long after the consultative examination did you get your decision? Let me know in the comments!

How long does it take to get a decision in a Social Security disability case?

Waiting for a decision

How long after you complete your application for Social Security disability benefits (or Supplemental Security Income – SSI benefits), does it take to get a decision?

In Colorado where I practice, it usually takes between four and six months after you apply to get the initial decision. Sometimes, Social Security will describe this as between 120 and 180 days.

What is an Social Security Informal Denial?

I am often asked:

I got an informal denial. What is that?

An informal denial typically means that Social Security is denying you because you may not be eligible for disability benefits. This is different from being denied because you are not disabled.

You may be disabled, but if you are not eligible for any type of Social Security benefits, you may be denied through an informal denial.

For example:  you, your spouse, or your household makes too much money or has too many assets.  This results is a financial denial. This sometimes happens in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases where, in addition to being disabled (unable to engage in a Substantial Gainful Activity, e.g. full time work), you also have to prove financial eligibility.

Another possibility is that you have not worked long enough (and earned enough quarters of coverage) to qualify for benefits, or you do not have quarters of coverage within the right time period to qualify for benefits.

In both examples the problem is eligibility:  Social Security does not think you can even get your foot in the door.

The flip-side of this, is that Social Security is not even considering whether you are medically disabled. They are not even getting to that step of the analysis.

If you disagree with the informal decision, the general recourse is to request a formal decision. The informal decision will tell you exactly how to do this, for example, by completing the application process or submitting a form.

Since Social Security is denying your case very early on in the review process, you may want to review your case with an attorney to see if there is a significant problem with your eligibility. If so, the lawyer may be able to direct you in how to get over this hurdle.

What happens after Social Security finds you disabled


What happens after the Social Security disability hearing

After waiting months (even years) to get your Social Security disability hearing, and then months more to get the decision, you finally have it!  Social Security has found you disabled. It is “Favorable” (either Fully Favorable or Partly Favorable).

Ok, now what? When do my Social Security benefits begin?

Here’s the thing: Social Security disability cases have two parts:

Part 1. Deciding if you are disabled? That was what the hearing was about.
Part 2. Deciding your eligibility for benefits, the benefit amount, and the amount of back benefits if any.

Part 1 is done. Part 2 is just starting… Continue reading What happens after Social Security finds you disabled

The BIG risk in appealing a “Partly Favorable” Social Security hearing decision

You finally got the decision on your Social Security case and it says… “Partly Favorable.”

This does not mean that you are “partly disabled.” Usually, it means one of the following:

  • The Judge found you disabled, but not as far back as you wanted; or
  • The Judge is approved a “closed period” of disability: that you were disabled from one date through another date. For example: the Judge might find that you were disabled from May 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007.

If you are ok with the partly favorable decision, give yourself a pat on the back for winning your Social Security case.

If, however, the partly favorable decision just makes you angry and you are thinking of appealing, please keep the following in mind: Continue reading The BIG risk in appealing a “Partly Favorable” Social Security hearing decision