Ortega Disability Group

Final Decision Delays After a Disability Hearing Request

If you are familiar with Social Security law, you know how long it takes for decisions to be announced following a hearing. There are long periods in which the judge has to take his or her time in issuing the decisions after the hearing is finished. As your Social Security lawyers serving Oakland, we want to make sure you are aware of the delays as you embark on your application journey.

The Delays

Many clients might have to wait as little as six months until they hear a decision from the judge. These delayed decisions happen even if the judge indicated, during the trial, that he or she intends to issue a fully favorable decision—meaning you will receive benefits. Additionally, if there is no need to submit additional evidence after the hearing, you may find yourself still waiting day after day for a decision.

Delays are stressful and frustrating for those waiting for a decision, especially when a fully favorable decision can trigger the release of essential funds and potentially life-saving health insurance. We know clients wait a long time to obtain resources through the Social Security appeals process, so what is the hold-up?

The Hold-Up

There are many different factors that cause a delay in hearing a decision from your judge. Our Social Security lawyers have narrowed it down to the following:

  • Budget Cuts/Freezes: When there are budget cuts and freezes to operation budgets, the result is a reduction in the number of attorney staff and decision writers. These people are the ones who help judges prepare a decision and when they are no longer employed or not in the same location as the judges, it causes inefficiencies and delays.
  • More Details: SSA personnel are telling judges how to write unfavorable decisions in a manner that is more defensible. This means that when the claimants and their attorneys decide to appeal denial decisions, it becomes a bit more difficult.
  • “FIT” Not In Use: “FIT” is a software program that shortens the time of a favorable decision issued after the hearing. However, the software is frowned upon as it is not promoted as a good judicial practice by the SSA directive.
  • No SSA Senior Staff Attorneys: SSA senior staff attorneys use to be able to write fully favorable decisions to resolve a case, sometimes even before a hearing. However, this program has been suspended by the SSA for unknown reasons.

Contact Us Today

Our Social Security lawyers serving Oakland know how frustrating applying for benefits can be. We want to help you with your burden and make the complex process a bit simpler for you.


All Mail: 30042 Mission Blvd #121-239 Hayward, CA 94544

1100 Town and Country Rd
Suite 1228
Orange, CA 92868

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1101 Marina Village Pkwy
Suite 201
Alameda, CA 94501

Monday – Friday: 9am – 5:00pm

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