What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips ó how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Getting Your Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Status
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you have filed for Social Security disability, do not expect to be kept informed about the status of your claim. It usually takes anywhere from a few weeks to 3 or 4 months to receive a decision on an initial claim; perhaps even longer depending upon current backlogs in your particular state.
Because Social Security has so many disability applications filed (the number of applications each year is currently over 2 million nationwide and climbing), it does not have the time or resources to update applicants about the status of their claims. However, it is advisable for those who have filed for disability to periodically check on their claim status (though those with legal counsel should find that this is taken care of for them).
Why check on the status of your claim? Since there is no set deadline for a disability examiner to render a decision, you have no way of knowing if your claim is waiting to be reviewed, lost on someoneís desk, or held up because the disability examiner is missing information he or she needs to make a decision.
Most people who file for SSD or SSI are already feeling the strain of a reduced earning capacity, and would like a decision on their case as soon as possible. Although you should wait a few weeks before following up with Social Security, if you havenít heard anything within that timeframe, you should try to find something out for your own peace of mind. Waiting for weeks upon weeks only to discover that nothing is happening with your application because it was misplaced or because your physician has failed to comply with a request for your medical records is not only frustrating, but potentially financially devastating.
Of course, before you can check on the status of your claim you need to know the best place to call. If your claim is at the initial application level or reconsideration appeal level, then contact your local Social Security office and ask for the number to the state disability determination services (DDS) offices. DDS makes all decisions on applications and reconsideration appeals for Social Security, and it is here that you can locate the disability examiner assigned to your case.
However, if your claim has already been rejected on appeal and you have made a request for a social security hearing, neither your local Social Security office nor DDS will have information regarding your scheduled hearing date. At this point itís best to call the Social Security office and get the number for the hearing office, from which you should be able to find out the status of your hearing request.
Again, if you have a disability lawyer or non-attorney rep working on your behalf, he or she should check on the status of your claim for you, so that you can simply obtain this information from your legal representative at any time.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials