After the ALJ hearing, or supplemental ALJ hearing, you must simply wait for the decision. The decision is a written document you receive in the mail entitled “Notice of Decision.” Unfortunately, there is no set timeframe for receiving the Notice of Decision. It can be as early as one week after the hearing, or it can take 6 months or longer. Usually it takes about 2-3 months. There is no way to make it go any faster. (Regardless of how long it takes, the wait is agonizing!) There are several reasons why it takes so long. First, SSA is extremely backlogged with a high volume of cases. Second, SSA is short-staffed in this era of budget cuts, and has a scarcity of decision-writers and other administrative support staff, which slows down the process. Third, the Notice of Decision is a long document, usually 10-20 pages in length. The ALJ must do more than say whether or not you are disabled. The ALJ is required to summarize the evidence and make findings of fact and law. Fourth, the ALJ may simply need the time to evaluate the evidence (which could include thousands of pages of medical records) and make a decision.