Approval Times

Understanding the Social Security Disability Approval Times

You have submitted a claim for Social Security disability benefits and it has taken months to receive the reply back that you have been denied. The waiting time is extremely frustrating and when you receive the bad news it can be crushing. Determining whether you are approved or denied depends on a number of variables and many people discover that they won't be approved the first time they make a claim no matter how much evidence they have supporting their medical conditions.

Average Waiting Times

when you first make your claim you can expect to wait a month up to 90 days to find out the decision made about your claim. Once you find out whether you have been approved or not (and it's highly likely that you will be denied the first time), you may have to appeal the decision. Paperwork will need to be filed and it must be done correctly if you want a decent chance at approval. You'll need to wait approximately 60 days to find out the final decision of your reconsideration appeal.

If you find out that you have been denied again, you'll need to request a disability hearing with an administrative law judge. It's not uncommon to wait at least a year to have this hearing due to court backlogs. This can be a frustrating wait time indeed and if there are any problems with your paperwork at all, you'll have no chance of getting approved.

If you make it this far, however, the good news is that approximately 65% of the claims are approved at this level. The denial rate is 25% on average while 10% of the cases at this level are dismissed.

Streamlining Decisions

In some cases the claims will be expedited. If, for example, you're dealing with a terminal condition your claim will be expedited and you'll generally receive word in less than a month. There are also other streamlining programs that will push some claims through faster than others including the Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determination processes.

When you're dealing with a Social Security disability claim it can be a lengthy and involved process. The thing to keep in mind, however, is that pushing forward and making it to the judge hearing gives you an advantage. The odds are in your favor of winning when you make it this far and with a good attorney by your side, you'll have an even better chance.

Work with an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to make sure that all of your paperwork is filled out correctly. If there is just one error on your papers, your claim may be denied. This is a complicated process so if you're going to submit an application you should be sure that it is all done right the first time. If you are disabled, you have the right to apply for benefits but you'll need to be ready to fight for them throughout this long journey ahead.