social security disability benefits

How Long Will I Wait for a Decision on My Disability Benefits Application?

When you are looking to apply for Social Security disability benefits, you may be under significant financial pressure or may not be too far from experiencing this. Those who have been unable to work due to a disabling condition can struggle to make ends meet. This is, after all, why the Social Security Administration offers such programs as Social Security disability insurance program and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Because of how needed these benefits can be, the wait after you submit your application can seem endless. Still, the process does continually move forward and your claim will be processed by the SSA and the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in your state.

How Long Will I Wait for a Decision on My Disability Benefits Application?

Generally speaking, disability benefit applications usually take around 3 to 5 months to be processed and have a decision on the application sent out to the applicant. Remember, however, that this is a general projection and the exact time you will have to wait for a decision on your disability benefits application will vary depending on a number of factors. For instance, the nature of your disability can play a big part in your wait time as can how quickly your treating doctor or other treating medical professionals take to send in your medical records.

In some cases, the SSA may request you go in for a medical examination to finalize your application. This can add on more processing time. The SSA may also review your application for quality purposes which can extend your wait time even longer.

Because you are likely to have a wait time of several months before you hear back on your disability application, you should consider filing your application as soon as possible. Applying online for disability benefits can expedite the process as you can start on your application immediately without the need to wait for an appointment. Your application can then be completed from the comfort and convenience of your own home. There will be no need to make trips to a local Social Security office to complete your application which can be a big time saver.

You can file your application online, or you can do so via phone or in person at your local Social Security office. Once filed, your application will be reviewed to make sure the basic requirements to receive disability benefits are met. Should the basic requirements be met, the application will then be forwarded to the office of Disability Determination Services (DDS) in the state in which the applicant resides. DDS then applies federal laws, regulations, and SSA policies and procedures in order to render a decision on the disability benefits application. After this review, DDS will render a decision on whether or not disability payments will be authorized to the applicant.

Once a decision has been reached on your application, the SSA will send you a letter informing you of the decision and providing an explanation as to why such a decision was reached. Should you disagree with the decision, you have the opportunity to appeal it. The first level of appeal is called “reconsideration” and it is a complete review of your application by someone who was not involved in rendering the initial decision.

Los Angeles Disability Attorney

Are you finding the disability benefits application process to be overwhelming? Do you need help with your application so that you can file sooner rather than later? The Disability Advocates team is here to help. Contact us today.