How to Speed Up Your Social Security Disability Claim
– MATT SAUERWALD, VICE-PRESIDENT, DISABILITY HELP GROUP
Matt Sauerwald is on the nation’s leading Disability Advocates. Across his career, Matt has developed a deep knowledge of Social Security disability law. He is dedicated to helping those who are unable to work due to disability get the benefits they deserve. Matt has successfully represented thousands of disability benefits claimants, and continues to work hard for disabled workers and their families every day.
In this post, Matt shares some of what he’s learned about how to move your SSDI claim forward as quickly as possible.
Top Tips for a Quicker SSDI Decision
- Make sure your SSDI application is complete and well-documented.
This may seem obvious, but errors and omissions delay Social Security disability claims, and sometimes even result in avoidable denials. Never cut corners when completing your application or submitting documentation to the Social Security Administration (SSA). An experienced disability benefits advocate can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your application is complete, correct, and well-supported.
- Take advantage of any shortcuts available.
With most SSDI claims, it takes months to receive an initial determination and then years to work your way through the appeals process. However, there are a few circumstances in which the process can be abbreviated or expedited. The SSA considers a case “critical” and offers special processing if:
- The applicant is suffering from a terminal illness
- The applicant’s medical condition qualifies for a compassionate allowance
- The applicant is a veteran with a 100% permanent and total disability rating from the Veterans Administration
- The applicant is a member of the U.S. military or a veteran who sustained the impairment while on active duty after October 1, 2001
- Keep your SSDI claim moving forward.
For most people, the SSDI process is multi-step, because most claims are denied at the initial application stage. After each denial, you’ll have 60 days to move your claim to the next stage. If you miss one of those deadlines, you’ll have to start back at the beginning, which could delay your claim by months or even years. Even if you meet the deadlines, waiting out the 60 days each time could add six months to the process. That doesn’t mean you should rush. Take the time to make sure you’ve provided any necessary or helpful information at each stage, but don’t let your Social Security disability claim languish.
- Considering requesting review on the record (OTR).
After your claim has been denied at the initial application and reconsideration stages, the next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). There are two ways SSA can render a decision at that stage without holding a hearing:
- They determine that the record supports a decision fully favorable to you without a hearing, or
- You notify them that you do not wish to appear at a hearing and would like a decision made “on the record” (OTR
Since it can take between eight months and two years to get to an ALJ hearing, this option can obviously expedite the process. However, it’s not appropriate for every case. If you’re considering requesting an OTR decision, consult an experienced disability benefits advocate to discuss the pros and cons in your particular case.
Knowledgeable Guidance at Every Step Can Speed Up Your Claim
To learn more about how Disability Help Group can help you navigate the SSDI application and appeals process as quickly as possible, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here right now.
Matt Sauerwald has been a leading voice for the disability community since 2010. In that time, he has handled thousands of hearings for disabled workers and their family members and helped to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits. Since 2015, he has led Disability Help Group, a leading advocacy organization for disabled workers.