How long will I have to wait for a hearing on my Social Security disability benefits claim?

Each month, the Social Security Administration completes a report called the Average Wait Time Until Hearing Held, formerly named the NESTAT report. This report estimates the average length of time applicants have to wait for hearings and appeals on their cases. You will be able to find estimates here for every Social Security office—including the offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

According to the latest information available, in May 2017, the wait for a hearing was:

  • 15 months in the Dallas Downtown office
  • 12 months in the Dallas North Odar office
  • 13 months in the Fort Worth office
  • 12 months in the Houston North office
  • 20 months in the Houston Bissonnet office
  • 15 months in the San Antonio office

Hearing offices are also ranked nationally by the average number of days that it takes them to complete a hearing request. As of May 26, 2017, the Texas offices ranked as follows:

  • The Dallas Downtown office ranks 30th in the nation, with an average of 532 days to complete a hearing request.
  • The Dallas North Odar office ranks 11th in the nation, with an average of 457 days to complete a hearing request.
  • The Forth Worth office ranks 14th, with an average of 465 days to complete a hearing request.
  • The Houston North office ranks 4th in the nation, with an average of 403 days to complete a hearing request.
  • The Houston Bissonnet office ranks 77th in the nation, with an average of 594 days to complete a hearing request.
  • The San Antonio office ranks 27th in the nation, with an average of 528 days to complete a hearing.

To put this in perspective the office that ranked number one was the Mayaguez office with an average wait of 154 days and the office that ranked last at 164th was the San Juan office with an average wait of 851 days.

Why the Wait?

There is no single reason. Some of the factors that may contribute to the wait for a hearing can include:

  • How many facilities are in the region
  • How many cases are pending for appeal
  • Staffing levels
  • The evaluation style of each administrative law judge (ALJ)
  • Overall efficiency levels at each facility

It's important to read all the disclaimers and remember that information gathered from any of the public-use files at the SSA.gov site are only estimates derived from information gathered at earlier points in time. It is possible that these estimates may not reflect your personal experience.

If you are appealing a Social Security disability decision, we encourage you to learn more about your rights and to talk to an experienced attorney who can help you through the appeals process efficiently. Please download a FREE copy of our book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know and contact us directly via this website or by phone to learn more.

Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law