You may certainly have questions during your application process for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, regardless of when you have applied. There is a high probability that you will be wondering how things stand with your initial disability claim, more often than not. The good news is that there are several ways to keep track of the status of your claim, allowing you to stay on top of it as it progresses.
Checking the Status of Your Claim
You can set up an account on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) website called “my Social Security,” so you can check on the status and keep track of your initial claim at any time. In the case of a completed but not-submitted claim, you will receive a re-entry number if you file your claim online. If you have requested and been granted a hearing, you will be able to see the date and time of your hearing on your online notice of hearing after creating an account with Social Security. You will also be informed about any additional documents you may need to hasten your claim for a benefits hearing.
Your “my Social Security” account also provides information about the location of your claim or a timely appeal, including the office handling your case. The website will also let you know if a decision has been made regarding your disability case and whether or not you have a valid claim, but it won’t tell you what the original decision was. Creating an online account allows you to set up or change your direct deposit information, change your mailing address, and opt out of mailed notices.
Using the SSA’s Toll-Free Number
It is strongly recommended that you call Social Security’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, if you do not have internet access or are uncomfortable using online resources. The SSA’s toll-free TTY number is 1.800.325.0778 if you are hard of hearing or deaf. When you have questions about the Social Security system, you can always visit your local SSA office, but it is best to schedule an appointment in advance rather than show up on the day of the appointment.
To be prepared for any interaction with Social Security regarding your claim, you should always have the following information with you: your Social Security number, your full name, your address, your email address (if you applied online), and your phone number. It would help if you were prepared to provide these details when you contact Social Security regarding the status of your claim.
Why Your Claim Decision Takes So Long
When you submit your application to SSA, you may wonder what will happen next and why it takes so long. The time it takes SSA to obtain all the information it needs regarding your case is about one month from the time you submit your claim. SSA may be chronically understaffed and taking longer than anticipated to get medical records requested. After the first month has passed and you have not heard anything, check with SSA to see if any additional documents or information is needed. If so, speak with all the necessary medical professionals to speed up the process.
The claim will be assigned to a claims examiner by Disability Determination Services (DDS) after receiving your application and additional documents. You will likely receive a call and paperwork from this Social Security representative. SSA can provide you with the name of your DDS claims examiner if you call your local SSA office.
DDS claims examiners can tell you where your claim is in the process and whether a decision has been made when you call for a status update. But, again, they won’t be able to tell you what that decision is since Social Security makes the final decision and sends you the detailed notice.
How Long Does a Request for Consideration Take?
Expect to receive a decision within about two months after submitting your Request for Consideration. Obtain a status update if you haven’t heard anything after that. You might need to wait many months or years for your hearing if your Request for Reconsideration results in another denial. You should avail yourself of a minimum of one request to check on the status of your hearing, so you have a chance of clearing up things with your hearing officer.
The first monthly check you receive after receiving your awards letter will usually arrive between 30 and 90 days after you have been approved for disability benefits. You should contact the Social Security Administration if you have not begun receiving benefits after 90 days.
It is important to remember that if you hire an attorney for Social Security disability benefits, your attorney can make all the requests for status updates on your behalf. Disability attorneys do not get paid unless you win your case, so it is also in their interest to move your case forward.
Applying for Social Security’s cash benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article about the top signs that your disability claim will be approved. To learn more, please visit DisabilityHelp.org today!