How Long Does it Take to Get Social Security Disability Benefits?
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average processing time for a new Social Security Disability (SSDI) application is three to six months. But, the average processing time varies from state to state. And, that estimate can be a bit misleading. That’s the average time SSA says you should expect to wait for an initial determination. But, a significant percentage of applications are denied at this stage. Working your way through the process of reconsideration and appeals can take much longer.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to speed up the initial application process and increase your chances of being approved earlier in the process.
Expediting Your SSDI Application
SSA doesn’t offer an expedited process for disability benefits, but you can take steps to make the process as efficient as possible. First, SSA says you can cut your processing time in half if you apply online.
Ensuring that your SSDI application is complete, you’ve provided all necessary documentation, and your medical providers promptly share necessary information can also help move the process forward. A Social Security Disability Benefits Advocate can be your best source of assistance in putting together a clear and complete application to give you the best chance of approval.
What if the Initial SSDI Application is Denied?
If your initial SSDI application is denied, the next step in most states is a request for reconsideration. This step is usually quicker than the initial application, but the success rate is low. The highest rate of approval occurs at the next stage: a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). However, it can take more than a year to get a hearing before an ALJ, and then several months to receive your determination. Those who are denied at this stage may require an additional step, or even two, to complete the process.
In short, a claim for Social Security disability benefits may be approved in just a few months, and you may begin receiving benefits as soon as six months after you become disabled. But, most SSDI application claims are denied in the initial rounds, meaning that many who apply for disability benefits don’t start receiving benefits for two years or more.
A Social Security Disability Advocate Can Help
Your best chance of receiving Social Security disability benefits as quickly as possible is to ensure that you avoid missteps in the process, don’t miss any appeal deadlines, and provide complete documentation to the SSA in a format that is easy to work with.
The process can be daunting. At Disability Help Group, we understand the process, and we understand the stress you’re under and how important it is for you to receive your disability benefits. To learn more about how we can help, call (800) 800-2009 or contact us right now.