How long does it take for Social Security Administration to make a decision on an appeal?

Q) I would like to know how does it take for SSA to make a decision on an appeal. I file an appeal in October 2013 in accordance with the letter from SS on my benefit amount. I received a phone call from the SSA about my claim. The SS agent requested further clarification on the bases of my appeal. I provide the information and document number and page number. I was told that I would here back from SSA with a determination. I contacted my local SSA office in Detroit, MI on seven mile in January of 2014 to get an update. According to the local office, they did not have record of an appeal and requested I provide the letter requesting the appeal and supporting documentation. I did provide the SSA with the information. Each month I call to get update on my appeal with no further info available.

A) According to the Social Security Website – The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review, but it may deny a request if it believes the hearing decision was correct. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case itself or return it to an Administrative Law Judge for further review. When the Appeals Council reviews your case it may consider any of the issues considered by the Administrative Law Judge, including those issues that were favorably decided in your case. You will receive a copy of the Appeals Council’s final action on your case.

Tips on how to shorten the request for review process

Make sure you request review within 60 days after you receive the hearing decision. If you are unable to meet this deadline, explain your reasons for missing it in your request.

Submit any additional evidence and/or comments you have with the request for review, if possible.

You and your representative should make requests for copies of hearing recordings and exhibits only if you really need these items for your appeal.

We request that you do not make automatic, multiple requests for the status of your request for review. You can verify that the Appeals Council has received the request through your local Social Security office, local hearing office or by calling our Congressional and Public Affairs Branch staff (1-703-605-8000) or our general inquiries staff at our toll-free telephone number (1-800-772-1213).

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