When applying for Social Security disability benefits, knowing exactly how long your claim will take to process is difficult — if not impossible. Some cases take as little as 30 days, while other cases may take years. Regardless of the reasons why a claim takes so long to process, there’s no question that waiting to hear back from the Social Security Administration about a claim can be frustrating and nerve-racking. However, knowing there is an SSDI timeline may help relieve some of those feelings.
Receiving disability benefits in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can provide financial resources that disabled individuals require. If you filed for benefits and haven’t yet received them, you might wonder what’s taking so long. For some insight into why your benefits may be delayed, read on.
Waiting for Medical Records
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, a disability examiner will request medical records. These medical records are used to prove you have a disability and are essential to having your claim approved. If you don’t submit medical records with your claim when you file, the disability examiner will have to request them from the doctor or hospital where you receive your care. In some cases, the biggest delay is waiting for these medical documents. In order to expedite the process, submit medical records when filing your claim.
Sometimes, the disability examiner might require additional medical documents or an examination. If this is the case, your claim might be delayed.
Failing to Fill Out the Form Completely
Like medical records, the Social Security Administration requires a variety of forms and documents to process an application for Social Security disability benefits. The application will require information about income, job history, medical history, marital status, citizenship status, family members who may receive benefits along with you, and more. If anything the SSA requests is not included in the original application, the application may be significantly delayed or denied.
In order to ensure your application for disability benefits is filled out in its entirety, it’s important to start gathering documents and information early and to stay organized.
Mandatory Waiting Period
If your claim for Social Security disability benefits is approved, you still may have to wait before you see your first check. Disability benefits will not begin until after a mandatory five-month waiting period. The five-month waiting period begins from the day of the onset of the disability. So, if a person was disabled on January 1 and had a disability benefits claim approved on March 1, he or she still would not be able to collect benefits until June 1. The only time that the five-month waiting period does not apply is when the benefits are for children of disabled workers.
While the mandatory waiting period can be frustrating for a person who has had a benefit claim approved, it is a necessary step that is required by law.
Denied Applications Go Through the Appeals Process
If the SSA denies your application for Social Security disability benefits, you can request a reconsideration. If that’s not successful, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge. The next step would be a review by the Appeals Council, then filing a lawsuit in federal district court.
A Social Security Disability Attorney Can Help
An attorney can help fight for your rights as a disabled individual. If the SSA denied your claim, the attorneys at Rob Levine & Associates know what it takes to appeal the case. For help appealing your claim for Social Security disability benefits, call us today at 1-866-LAW-SSDI (529-7734).