Individuals looking to check the status of a disability claim should call their local Social Security office to speak to a disability claims representative. A claims representative can usually provide an update on the case, but cannot give detail as to when a decision will be made.
For cases pending when the individual has just filed his application, and at the first-level of appeal, it's more productive to speak with the examiner who is evaluating the claim. The examiner works at a state agency called the Disability Determination Services, not the actual Social Security Administration. The examiners are usually easy to reach by phone, and the local Social Security office can provide a telephone number to the Disability Determination Services office.
For disability claimants who have submitted a request for hearing before an administrative law judge, the claim is no longer with the Disability Determination Services office, as it goes back to the Social Security Administration for a hearing date to be scheduled. If the applicant's case is at the hearing level, the applicant needs to contact the Social Security office where the claim was filed to check on the status of the hearing request. Applicants represented by an attorney should have the representative check the status of their claim.