Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are awarded to disabled individuals who are unable to work as a result of their disabilities. Because they cannot work, these individuals may find it hard to make ends meet while they wait for their benefits to begin. For this reason, most applicants are eager to find out how long it will take to get approved for SSDI benefits. If you’re in this position, it’s important to understand what you should expect. Here’s what you need to know:
Wait Time For the Initial Application
It typically takes between three to five months to find out whether or not your initial application has been approved. To speed up the process, make sure you submit all of the necessary documentation to the Social Security Administration (SSA) when you submit the initial application. If the SSA has to request additional information, this could delay their decision.
Wait Time For Appeals
Unfortunately, only about 30% of initial applications for disability benefits are approved. If your application has been denied, you can appeal the decision.
The first step in the appeals process is the reconsideration stage. During this stage, the SSA will basically take another look at your application to determine if it should have been approved. This step in the process could take between three to six months.
Most claims are denied once more in the reconsideration stage. If this happens, the next step in the appeals process is requesting a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The time that it takes for an applicant to be heard in court can vary depending on your location. This is because some areas have a larger backlog of cases than others. But in general, it can take around a year to get in front of an administrative law judge.
If your application is denied by an administrative law judge, you can continue the appeals process by requesting an Appeals Council review of the decision. Taking this step can add another year to your wait time.
The final step in the appeals process is taking the case to federal court. The time it takes to get a hearing in court can vary depending on the district, but it may be months before your case is heard.
Many SSDI applicants spend years fighting for disability benefits. If you are applying for SSDI benefits, let the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. help. Our experienced attorneys know how to speed up the approval process to ensure you are awarded benefits as quickly as possible. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.