Social Security Disability Claimants Face Long Delays Waiting for Hearings

It takes an average of 23 to 25 months until a Social Security Disability claimant has their hearing. Don’t take our word for it, you can read it on Social Security’s website at That’s a long time, and one that neither the claimant nor counsel can control. Worse, the 25 month wait time for the Philadelphia office is the longest in the country.

In fact, one of the toughest things our office has to do is explain the length of the process to people applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Even worse, that’s not the full story. Because those people must first apply for benefits and wait for that preliminary decision, which generally takes three to six months. Only then can they request a hearing before a Judge and get into the two-year long line.

We represent many of the claimants in the Philadelphia area who are feeling the effects of this crippling backlog. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, these are the disheartening statistics:

  • The average wait time for a hearing in Philadelphia is 26 months
  • The average wait time for a hearing in Elkins Park is 20 months
  • The average wait time for a hearing in South Jersey is 23 months
  • There are more than 10,000 Philadelphians currently awaiting hearings
  • 8,699 Americans died in 2016 while waiting for a hearing
  • Each Philadelphia office has more than 5,000 pending cases, but no more than 8 Judges

While no attorney can speed the process, they can offer guidance and preparation to help improve your chance at success. Our office regularly represents clients seeking Social Security benefits at every stage of their claims, including administrative hearings, and even in Federal District Court. The claims process involves complicated paperwork, appeals can be confusing, and the long wait for hearings makes everything seem worse. But we have the knowledge and experience to help guide you through the process. If you are considering a claim or have been denied, call our office at 610-446-3457 and we will explain the process and help you prepare your application or appeal properly.