How long it takes to receive word on your Social Security is contingent on more than just one factor. The truth is, you might have to wait longer than expected without any feedback at all. This is the reality of the situation because there isn’t a timeline that the social security administration is required to follow; therefore they are legally allowed to take as long as they want. So, other than a possible indefinite decision what could you be in for?
The Application Process
The time it takes to process your initial application alone can be three to four months. That’s just from the beginning of the application date, and it doesn’t get much better from there. If your application gets denied it can then go through a “reconsideration” which is the first step of the appeal process. This reconsideration period is also three to four months.
There are nine states in total, including New York and Colorado, that have done away with the “reconsideration” step altogether. Instead, the application appeal goes straight to the hearing level, which shaves another four or so months off the final decision.
The total hearing time is quite disheartening to hear about because they can range over a large amount of time. In places like Honolulu they can take about seven months. However, in Florida they can take up to 22 months. These are all estimated or expected wait times, but ultimately there is no way to know.
What Can Extend the Process?
There are a number of things that can even make this process take longer than it was initially going to in the first place. In many cases, there is a further request for medical records. The medical records that are requested are necessary in these cases because there was not enough supporting evidence of the disability during the first application for the benefits.
The medical records are used to provide proof that you are indeed disabled. There is no sure way to determine how long this extension will take, so it is best to make sure that borderline superfluous information is issued at the beginning so there is no further delay.
Expedited Decision and Your SSDI Claim
There are some special cases where the SSA will allow the process to be sped up so that the approval of the disability request can come sooner. However, please note that these are serious and rare cases. Some of them are:
- If the applicant suffers from a terminal illness – If your situation involves a terminal illness, the SSA needs to be notified right away so your application can be expedited.
- The applicant served in the military on or after 10/1/2001 – If you were on duty in the military when your disability began it is possible to have your application expedited.
- The applicant is in dire need of assistance – When they refer to “dire need” they mean that you don’t have access to shelter, food, or the basic necessities of life. Along with your medical records they will also need evidence of what puts you in dire need.
When working on your SSDI claim there is a chance that working with an attorney can speed up your process. The attorney can file an off the record decision request and if that request is successful you could get an approval without the need for a hearing. If you are disabled and want to partner with an attorney for your SSDI, contact The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour to schedule your home visit.