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How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For SSDI?

Last updated: April 12, 2023

Suppose you are disabled because of a medical condition that prevents you from working and awaiting a decision by the Social Security Administration on whether you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. In that case, you know how stressful it can be to wait for that decision. It may take up to a year for a final decision to be made for some people, while for others, average wait times can take as little as 30 days for a final decision to be made. We will attempt to answer the one question that has been on your mind for a long time: how long does it take to get SSDI benefits?

Time Required To Get An SSDI Application Decision

Understanding how long SSDI claims take and what to expect at each stage can help you reduce your stress. Approximately how long it will take to complete the entire process is as follows:

Initial Application: After applying for SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration, it usually takes the SSA three to four months to reach a decision, but it may extend the waiting time to eight months in certain circumstances.

Reconsideration: It is possible to request reconsideration if the SSA denies your request for benefits. However, you will need to file a request for reconsideration within 30 days of the SSA's initial denial. Depending on how long it will take them to respond to your initial appeal, they may send you a decision in three to four months.

Appeals Process: If the request for reconsideration is denied, you must file an appeal with the SSA and have your case decided by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). A disability hearing could take six months to two years to be scheduled, after which the ALJ will decide about your claim within that period.

Speeding Up The Decision Process

The Social Security Administration can speed up the process of receiving a decision on your application process if you take the right steps. The following are a few tips that can help you do what needs to be done:

List all the doctors you have seen on your application: Providing the details of the physician who examined you, and the dates of your examination would be helpful to them.

Include all medical records you have: In this way, the SSA will not have to contact your physician to obtain this information, which could cause a significant delay in their initial decision-making process.

Ensure that you obtain a letter from each doctor treating you for your disability: This letter should include a description of the medical condition, why it hinders your ability to work, and the type of medical condition you have.

Ensure the SSA reviews your application and does not need any additional information. SSA's website provides a way to check this status, or you can call and speak with an SSA representative to learn more about this.

Get Legal Help

Is there anything you can do to accelerate the process of filing your claim and completing the claims process? Make sure you retain a Social Security lawyer with experience in disability claims as soon as possible. If needed, a competent disability lawyer can assist you with filing your application properly, providing all the documentation necessary to get a quick decision, and assisting you in filing your appeal if necessary.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article about how to calculate your Social Security Disability payment. To learn more, visit DisabilityHelp.org today!

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Chloe Powers
Chloe works with policymakers on behalf of Disability Help to support their work at a strategic level, ensuring the conditions are in place for creative individuals and organizations to grow, reach their potential and effect relevant, sustainable change.
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