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How Long Does it Take to get Approved for Social Security Disability?

Posted in Social Security Disability. Tuesday, Jan 19th, 2016

Waiting for a decision about your Social Security Disability claim can be stressful and nerve-wracking. For some, social security disability benefits are integral to helping support themselves and their families. Every case is different and the length of time that it takes to process an application for SSD benefits varies on a case-by-case basis. A Columbus social security disability attorney can help you navigate the process and discuss a possible timeline with you based on the facts of your case.

Average Wait Times

The wait time for a response on your claim from the Social Security Administration varies based on the stages of the application process. The total SSD application process can vary anywhere from three months to two years, especially if a hearing is before an Administrative Law Judge, which is typically the case. For initial disability applications, generally it can take between 30 and 90 days to receive a response. If the initial application is denied, you can file for a reconsideration appeal. For reconsideration appeals, it generally takes about another60 days to receive a decision.

If a reconsideration appeal is denied, the applicant may appeal and request and hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Unfortunately, because of the high volume of request for hearings, it can be over a year before your scheduled disability benefits hearing. Having to wait for a hearing can be very frustrating and can lead to periods of financial hardship for applicants. However, it is worth it to continue pursuing the disability claim to the hearing stage. Statistics show that around 65 percent of SSD appeals are approved, although lately that amount has been reduced.

Limited Options for Faster Processing

The Social Security Administration does have a few streamlined processes that may allow for quicker processing of a claim based on the specific situation and medical condition of the applicant. Some of the programs for faster processing include:

  • TERI – TERI is the Social Security Administration’s program for quickly processing the applications of terminally ill patients. Applicants do not have to indicate on their applications that they have terminal illnesses. A representative from the field office or a claims examiner can send the claim for processing through the TERI program;
  • Compassionate Allowances – The Compassionate Allowances program allows for expedited processing for applicants whose medical situations are so serious that they clearly would qualify for benefits. The purpose of this program is to quickly process application of those who obviously qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration maintains a list of conditions that qualify for compassionate allowances. Claims under the Compassionate Allowances program may be approved in as little as 10 days; and
  • Quick Disability Determination Decision – When claims are submitted to the Social Security Administration, they applications are run through a computer program that is designed to identify, based on a number of factors, applications with a high probability that the applicant will be determined to be disabled. Applications that are flagged are sent through the Quick Disability Determination program. If medical records are current and if the date your disability began is easily determined, then applications can be approved in as few as 20 days.

What Can I do to Help Make Sure my Claim gets Approved as Quickly as Possible?

There are some steps you can take to help ensure your application process goes as smoothly as possible. For the quickest determination of benefits, you should be sure to file any appeals as quickly as possible. Respond to any requests from the social security examiner as quickly and as accurately as possible, and include recent and thorough medical evidence with your application.

Work with an Ohio Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney

If you are thinking of filing for social security disability, the experienced staff at the Law Office of Mike Gertner can answer your questions about the process and how long it may take for you to receive a decision. A Columbus social security disability attorney can increase the chances that your claim will be approved by helping make sure your application is as complete as possible. We know that every applicant’s situation is different. For a free consultation, call us toll free at 877-772-1011 or fill out our online contact form. We can help you secure the benefits you need to move forward with your life.