social security disability ssi

How long does it take to get a decision on a disability or ssi claim ?

The most honest answer to this question is "nobody really knows". The social security office where you begin your social security disability or SSI disability claim may advise you that your claim will take 90 days or 120 days but this does not imply a deadline. Unfortunately, this leads to confusion among many disability claimants who end up believing that there is a deadline for the processing of their case, when in fact deadlines absolutely do not exist for either the SSI program or the SSD program.

Why do personnel at the social security office give out such information? Probably because this is the best information they have access to: averages. On average, most initial claims for SSI or social security disability will be determined (decided) in three to four months. However, some claims may take much longer, perhaps even as long as a year.

Why do some disability cases take longer to process than others? There are many variables involved. Some disability examiners (the individuals who gather your medical records and make decisions on claims) work faster than others while other disability examiners are slower. Also, some examiners have monstrously large caseloads and, for this reason, getting to your case may take longer as a result. Unfortunately, as a claimant, you have zero control over who will process your disability case or how long it may take.

However, if you would like your disability case to go faster (or at least avoid going slower), it may be good to consider the following options:

1. Consider submitting your medical records with your disability application versus submitting the application only. The wait for medical records (disability examiners request your records and then "shelve" your case" while they wait on the records) consumes a huge chunk of time in the processing of a social security disability or SSI case. However, if you choose to do this, make sure you not only submit older records, but your most recent records as well. If you fail to submit your most recent records, the examiner may be forced to send off for your records regardless of what you've provided with your application.

2. Complete your disability application completely. In other words, supply information (regarding your condition, doctors, and places of treatment) that is a. correct and b. sufficiently detailed. Incomplete (or worse, inaccurate) information can cause a disability case to "sit longer" than one for which complete and accurate information has been provided.

3. Comply with requests from the social security office or the disability examiner who is handling your case. Meaning: if you get a letter asking you to respond with certain information, respond quickly. If you get a notice requesting your presence at a medical exam, make sure you keep the appointment. Failing to submit requested information or attend a scheduled medical examination can delay your case, and, in some cases, provide justification for a denial.

Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers Disability Q&A

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How long does it take to get a hearing for social security disability or SSI ?

Social Security Disability Hearings SSI Hearings

What are the chances of winning on a social security disability or SSI disability appeal ?

How many appeals are you allowed to get for social security disability or SSI disability ?

How do you make an appeal on a social security disability or SSI disability claim ?

What do you do if you get denied for social security disability or ssi disability benefits ?

How does the social security disability and SSI disability system work ?

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What are the chances of winning a social security disability or SSI benefit claim ?

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