How do I check that status of my Social Security disability case?

Social Security takes a long time to process disability benefit cases. Here is how to check the status of your claim.

Initial applications for disability benefits:

Social Security has a webpage at http://ssa.gov/claimstatus/ which lets you check your status. Unfortunately, you will probably receive this message:

The following statements are informational only. They are current as of today. You will receive the official notice of any decision made on your claim by U.S. mail. As of today’s date, a decision has not been made on your application. If you need more information, you may call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). SSA representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Other than confirming that there is a claim pending, this doesn’t tell you very much. Fortunately, you can get more information by calling Social Security directly.

  • You local Social Security office can tell you if any additional information is needed before your case is transferred to Disability Determination Services for a medical review.
  • Once your case is moved to Disability Determination Services, you will receive forms to be completed about your disability. These are accompanied by a cover letter with the name of your case manager and usually their direct telephone number.

Cases pending a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge:

After the “Request for Hearing” appeal is filed, the case is moved to a Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The ODAR office sends out a notice, once the file arrives there, listing the mailing address, telephone and fax numbers. If you lose the notice, you can also contact the local Social Security office to obtain contact information for the hearing office.

You can call the ODAR office to check the status of your case. However, the clerk handling calls can provide limited information. They may be able to tell you the status of the case, what information it is currently waiting on, and the current wait times. However, Social Security will not be able to give you “hint” of what the outcome of the case will be.

Now this should go without saying, but don’t be a jerk when you call. The Social Security agent will provide all the information they can. Each moment on the phone takes time away from processing cases. So, be nice. They really are doing their best.

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

  • Abmabbott73

    I went to my ssi hearing about 8 wks ago. Although the judge did not give me a decision then, the vocational expert said i was not able to work every time the judge went down the line from one job to the next. Also, as we left, my attorney assured me that we won. The judge said i would have usually received his decision in about 6 wks, but there was some kind of delay(maybe postal), so i would receive my decision within 8 wks, which is tomorrow. I still haven’t heard anything. Do you know how i can find out ANYTHING, especially if i won, how long b4 i receive my payment. Thank u very much.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    If your attorney is signed up with the Social Security ERE system, s/he can check online to see if the decision has been entered into the SSA file. If so, s/he can view and download the decision.

    You or your attorney can also call the hearing office (phone number listed on the notice of hearing) to see if a decision has been issued. However, the hearing office will only tell you if a decision was issued or not. They will not tell you what the decision is. 

    Good luck on your case!

  • Jrtlady48

    I have a question. My son -in law was denied SSi even after appealing the decision and requesting a appeal from other judges. There reason I am asking is that he has been denied twice and I am tired of supporting them. He is a 10 years Navy veteren and has PTSS, from serving in the middle east. and deemed totally disabled by the VA.  He first filed  Dec 13 2007, and the Social Security misfiled this papers with his fathers paper ( he is a JR). He refiled in late 2008, and the VA messed up his paper work. losing him time from 2007-until 2-2009. He was denied again, he appealed in 8-2010 and was denied, His lawyer appealed the decision by the judge asking that it be overturned. He  said that he reapplied again in Dec 2011, and we are still waiting to hear if this one will be denied. Why does it take so long . they have all the information and is there a time period need before one can reapply. As i said I am helping to support them using my regular Social Security. I am going in the hole. trying to keep a roof over my grandchildren( ages 3- and 1 ) heads 

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    The main reason for the long processing times are the large number of cases being processed. 

    It sounds like you want to get a better idea of what has happened on your son’s case, what is going on now and what is likely to happen in the future. 

    Consider asking for a sit down meeting with your son and his attorney.

  • worried Mommy

    My son, who is a twin and was premature, was also born with complete heart block and received a pacemaker at the age of 2. I’m a single mother and it was suggested to me by a social worker to apply for Ssi. I did, he was denied, and I appealed. I first applied 22 months ago, but the hearing was 3 months ago. When should I expect to hear something or how do I go about checking the status of the case? Btw, I have no lawyer.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    Call the hearing office (the number is on the Notice of Hearing). They should be able to tell you the status. Good luck!

  • Brendielee

    My case was in ODAR at one city, I was graned critical status for an on the record review (which I guess was not approved) and now waiting for hearing. I moved and the case is being transferred to an ODAR office closer to me (in the same state). Does this mean that someone will review it again and perhaps my on the record could be granted even though the other location did not grant it? Just wondering if they will review again before scheduling a hearing date.

  • http://www.stasiukfirm.com/ TomaszStasiuk

    When a case moves from one ODAR office to another, it often means a new judge and staff are assigned to the case. New eyes can mean a new decision, even an approval without a hearing. Good luck, Brendielee!

  • Englishgirl23

    you need to get a lawyer..read the reviews for ssi lawyers in your area. go with one that you can easily meet with.