Monday, October 15, 2012

When will the Administrative Law Judge hearing my Social Security Disability case tell me that my case is approved?

One of the more frequently asked questions from my clients is – “Will the Administrative Law Judge tell me that my Social Security Disability (SSDI or SSI) case is approved at the hearing?”  Unfortunately, this is not a question I can answer until the end of the hearing for my client's Social Security Disability claim.  Some Administrative Law Judges will tell you at the end of your hearing that they are going to approve your Social Security Disability case.  Many will not.  If an Administrative Law Judge does not indicate that they are going to approve your case, you will have to wait to receive the decision.  In my practice this means waiting anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months.  It is important to note that just because the Judge does not approve you for Social Security Disability benefits at the hearing does not mean that he/she will deny your claim.  There are some Judges that never approve cases verbally at the hearing.  There are also some Judges that will approve some cases at the hearing and some cases after the hearing.
If you are represented by an attorney at the hearing that is experienced in handling Social Security Disability cases, they can often give you some indication as to how they believe the judge will rule.  This is however just an educated guess as it is impossible to predict with complete certainty the way a judge will rule on your particular case - unless, of course, they state their decision at the hearing on the record.

This is NOT legal advice. This blog provides general information about Social Security Disability cases. To discuss your particular circumstances and claim, please contact a lawyer in your area.


  1. Thanks for posting this. My friend was just wondering how long this will take. He wants to know when things will get figured out for him. I think that it's important to keep track of this.

  2. I need to fight for my social security benefits. Would the situation end up being like a question and answer session, that is all done in a courtroom or conference room setting. I need to get my social security case before a judge, so I can get my benefits back. I'd rather feel like the event was an interview process and not a courtroom drama with dozens of people. Hopefully, it is more like the former than the latter.

  3. Its good to know that the social security cases don't really have a predictable time like you mentioned. If you didn't know that you could be impatiently waiting for nothing. Its hard to wait for things you have no control over, I am sure that dealing with these cases is a good way to build patience.