The length of time that it takes to get a decision for a Social Security Disability claim is getting longer and longer. The main reason for this is the fact that there has been a dramatic increase in disability claims filed across the country. The increase in claims being filed is likely caused by a tough economy as well as the fact that the population is aging.
In New Mexico, Social Security Disability/SSI claims can be won in as little as 30 days or take as long as two or three years. I would say that it is more common to take two years that it is to be one of the fortunate ones that takes 30 days.
The following is an estimate of the average length of time involved at each of the first three steps of the disability process in New Mexico:
Initial application: 3 to 6 months
Reconsideration: 3 to 6 months
Hearing: 1 year
If you lose at the hearing level there are additional levels of appeal that can take several more years. In looking at the times listed above you can see how it can very easily take two years to be approved for benefits if you have to go through the hearing level, which many people must do.
As you start the disability process or consider filing for disability benefits you should plan for it to take at least two years. If it ends up being shorter, then consider yourself fortunate.