The Initial Claim
In North Carolina, the disability process routinely takes about two years. The first stage of a disability claim is decided by the North Carolina Disability Determination Services. The initial claim takes about 100 days, but may run much longer. The approval rate at the initial stage is only about 35 percent, which means only one of three claims is approved early on.
If your claim is denied, the next stage is the Reconsideration Appeal, also decided by the North Carolina Disability Determination Services. This second stage also takes about three months, but with only about a 10 percent approval rate. Only one of 10 disability claims is approved at Reconsideration.
Hearing Before An Administrative Law Judge
If your claim is denied at Reconsideration, the next stage is to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Many good claims are denied early on, so the backlog at the hearing stage can be staggering. In North Carolina, it takes about 12 to 18 months from the time a hearing is requested to the time of the hearing itself. The approval rate is at its highest point at this stage. From the time you first file a claim until you receive the judge's decision is about two years.
If you live in central or eastern North Carolina, please contact my office for a free consultation of your Social Security Disability claim. You can reach us online or by calling 919-805-3311 or toll free at 800-768-1330.