How Long is the Disability Application and Appeals Process?
The Social Security Disability process can vary in length and can be longer for some than others. Without strong representation or someone to guide you, there may be no choice but to stick it out and keep fighting for your SSDI or SSI Benefits, which could take years. Which is why we recommend you discuss your situation with a professional before you even apply. We can help you determine whether you will even qualify for social security benefits, and if you do, how you can win you case and start receiving your benefits in the shortest time possible.
Applying for Social Security Benefits
SSI applications require a personal interview, while an SSDI application can be filed online or at the local Social Security office. Either way, it can take a long time to fill out the application, especially if you need to hunt down the required information, which includes the details of your medical history, education, former employment, and financial situation.
The First Social Security Review
Once you submit your application for disability, your wait for a decision may take weeks or months. Some applicants qualify for expedited review under the compassionate allowances (CAL) program. Others must undergo additional reviews, including an SSA examination.
On average, CAL applicants receive a decision within four weeks. The typical wait for other applicants ranges from three to six months, but there are things that can lengthen the wait, like insufficient medical evidence, for example.
If you’re denied benefits, you may request a second review or reconsideration of your claim. The average wait at this stage is four to six weeks.
Additionally, most applicants submit new evidence when they request a reconsideration. This increases your chances of approval but also stretches out your wait for a decision to somewhere around 10 to 12 weeks on average.
Appeal to the Hearing Level to Win Your Social Security Claim
Applicants that are denied at the first review and reconsideration stages must file a hearing appeal if they wish to continue to try for benefits.
Most people that must appeal wait 12 to 26 months before their appeal hearing takes place.
If your claim is denied at the hearing level you can further appeal to the Appeals Council, which is the last appeal you can make within the Social Security administrative system.
Finally, if your appeal to the Appeals Council is denied, you can ask for Federal Court review of Social Security’s decision to deny your case.
Getting Help with Your Social Security Claim
The disability application and review processes can vary significantly from one case to the next. Some applicants receive a decision in weeks, while others wait months or even years.
At Renda Law we can help you understand the steps you will need to go through for your application, and help you prepare all the documentation required.
Having representation can potentially shorten your wait by strengthening your claim or making a stronger argument for your eligibility. If you’re initially denied benefits, we can increase your chances of approval during an appeal and represent you at the appeal hearing as well as appeals all way to Federal Court.
So, don’t wait! If you are considering filing for Social Security Disability for you or a loved one, make an appointment as soon as possible for your Free Consultation.
Renda Law in Tacoma is here for you!