How Long Does It Take To Get Approved After Filing For Social Security Disability?
Ever wonder how long it takes after filing your disability claim to hear back from the Social Security Administration? If you have filed for social security disability and its been months and you still havent heard anything, you are not the only one. Applying for Social Security Disability can be a stressful and lengthy process. Many people are in dire need and wonder how long it will take before they are approved. If you're unable to work and unable to help support your family, this can lead to worry and financial stress. They last thing you want to worry about is figuring out how to navigate this complex process before obtaining social security disability benefits.
The big question is, how long does it take to get approved for social security disability benefits? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer. There are many factors that impact how long it takes to be approved for Disability benefits. It can sometimes take as little as 1-2 months, while the majority of people end up having to wait up to 2 years. It all depends at what stage you were approved at. Although there is no exact answer, based on my experience, there is an "average range" of how long it could take.
What Factors Impact How Long It Takes To Get A Social Security Disability Approval?
The first thing to keep in mind is that initial claims usually take 3-6 months to process. This means that once you file for disability, it could take 3-6 months to hear back from SSA. During this period of time, SSA may send you additional forms for you to complete. If you do not complete these forms within a timely fashion, it could delay your decision.
If your initial claim is denied then you will need to file an appeal. You have 60 days to appeal your initial denial. Once appealed, SSA will reconsider your application and it will again take an additional 3-6 months to hear back from SSA.
One big factor that will impact how quickly your Social Security Disability application is approved is what medical records are needed to process your claim. As you are filing your application, you will be asked to provide your doctors information so that SSA can request records from your doctor to help with their decision making process. If your doctors are taking too long to send your records to SSA, this could extend your wait time. In addition, if your doctors fail to send in the records within a timely manner, this could negatively impact your claim as SSA has time limits on how long they can wait before making a decision. Its best if you can obtain the medical records for SSA and send them in as to speed up the decision making process.
If the Social Security Administration feels that there is not enough medical documentation to make a decision on your claim, they may require you meet with one of their appointed doctors for further review. This will likely result in additional delays but seeing their appointed doctors is not uncommon. Its important that when an appointment is made to see their doctors, you should attend it. If you do not and they have to reschedule, it will also create delays for your case.
In addition, the state in which you live in also plays a factor in how long it takes for your Social Security Disability application to be decided. The larger states tend to have longer wait times.
What Are Some Ways I Can Help Speed Up the Process?
There are a couple ways that you can help speed up the process. Below are some ways that could help make the applicaiton process quicker.
Provide ALL medical records YOURSELF: Although social security's disability examiner will request medical records on your behalf, its always best if you can provide them your records yourself. It speeds up the process. So when you submit your application, attach your medical records with it.
Make sure to provide All your doctors information on the application: Its best to make sure you have all your doctors information in order. Go back and write down their names, their address, and the dates you saw those doctors. If you fail or forget to provide the name of one of your doctors, this could have a negative impact as the disability examiner will only be requesting medical records from the list of doctors you provide.
Obtain a medical opinion as to your disability from your doctors: A medical opinion letter from your doctor stating why they believe you are disabled can help boost your chances of getting approved, especially if its from a specialist. Submit these with your application.
Fill out any forms that SSA sends you: Its important to stay on top of your claim. If you receive additional forms form SSA such as a work history form or a function report form, make sure to fill it out as soon as possible and send it back. Waiting too long could cause delays.
Work with an attorney: Am experienced attorney will be familiar with filing disability claims. They can navigate the lengthy and complex social security disability process and assist you with filling out certain forms correctly. They will know what evidence is importan to help support your claim and can assist in gathering all relevant medical evidence.
Although it is a long process, there is some good news. If you have a severe disabling condition, your may be approved a lot quicker then you think. The Social Security Administration has been working hard to speed up wait times for those who suffer from extremely severe disabling conditions. It has been estimated that this year 100,000 to 125,000 of the people who suffer from the extreme disabilities will be approved within a few days of their application.
Just keep in mind that when applying for Social Security Disability, patience is key. For many people filing, they will have to unfortunately wait at least a couple months at the very least before they hear back from SSA. The best recommendation is to use the key steps above to increase the chances to hearing back from SSA sooner. Provide any and all required evidence quickly and work on expediting matters when you can.