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How to Check the Status of a Pending Social Security Disability Claim

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program that assists people with disabilities. Employees who can no longer work by reason of a significant illness or impairment are entitled to monthly benefits if the disability is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death within a year.

Disability payments are based on the past earnings of the disabled worker, and both he or she and any dependent family members can receive the benefits. SSDI benefits are only available to disabled workers who worked in jobs covered by the program. If you have recently applied for disability insurance and are waiting for approval, there are ways to check the status of your claim.

3 Ways To Check The Status of Pending Disability Claim

The following steps will help you determine the status of your application for Social Security disability benefits:

Online

You can check your Social Security status online by signing in to your my Social Security account. Creating an account is required if you do not already have one. By then, you can view the following information about your claim:

  • The date of filing.
  • Location of the current claim.
  • Date and time of the scheduled hearing.
  • Re-entry numbers for applications that are incomplete.
  • Location of the servicing office.
  • Publications of interest, based on the claim and the current status of the case.

Hotline

In cases where you cannot check the status of your application online, the Social Security Administration can be reached via their hotline. You can contact them through their number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Their lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

Local Offices

If you prefer to check the status of your application in person, you can go to the local offices near you.

Why Do Disability Claims Take Time Before Getting Approved?

Understanding why disability claims take time before they are approved is helpful before checking your status. One of the most frequent questions that get asked is, “How long will it take to find out the results of my application?” The answer is that the application process takes time — mainly due to Social Security's lengthy and complex evaluation process, their limited resources, and their large accumulated backlog of disability claims.

A decision is usually delivered within three to five months. However, the precise timing will be determined by the length of time it takes to gather your medical records and any other evidence needed to reach a decision. In the event that your doctors are taking too long to submit your medical records, you might be able to speed up the process by getting copies and sending them in with your application.

In addition to the factor listed above, several other factors play a role in determining the amount of time it will take to receive the results of your application. These include the following, ranked roughly from most to least significant:

  • Your chosen disability representative (reputable firms tend to have their claims approved more quickly);
  • Whether your health issues are severe (strong claims are approved faster);
  • Strength of the evidence supporting your claim (well-supported claims are likely to be approved);
  • The amount of medical evidence you provide (if you have thousands of pages of records to gather and review, it will take more time);
  • Your age (the older you are, the faster claims can get approved);
  • Work history (claimants with physical work in the past are typically approved more quickly);
  • The promptness of the local Field Office handling your claim;
  • The promptness of the Disability Determination Services' adjudication at the Initial Application and Reconsideration phases of your claim;
  • The promptness of the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) and the Administrative Law Judge who is handling your claim;

Lastly, the location where you filed your claim also plays a role in how long you have to wait before hearing the ruling. According to government statistics, the time it takes for cases to reach a conclusion varies dramatically across the country. Average wait times vary from 6 to 14 months as of October 2021. Albany, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Toledo had the shortest wait times, while Los Angeles, the Rio Grande Valley, and West Virginia had the longest.

Read more about what to do when you receive your social security disability decision letter at Disability Help today!

Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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