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 — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
How Long Will My Disability Case Be at the Social Security Hearing Office Before It gets Scheduled?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Social Security disability and SSI hearings typically take a year or more to be scheduled, due to current backlogs within the Social Security system. In areas in which the population is greater, or where whole industries are disappearing (such as Detroit), the wait for a disability hearing could take over two years. The more disability cases filed in your state each year, the longer it takes for Social Security to act on your case.
Currently there are over 2 million disability applications filed with Social Security for SSD or SSI benefits. This number is expected to increase next year, and the pattern shows no sign of changing anytime soon. The wait for the Social Security office to schedule hearings will probably increase over time as well, barring some extensive state and federal government funding to hire more individuals to process disability applications.
More than a decade ago this was not the case, at least for most individuals. Applicants who filed a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge in 1999 and 2000 usually waited about 3 to 5 for the hearing office to schedule their case. Today, in this economy, a prompt response on a hearing request is no longer a reality.
Because it takes so long for disability hearings to be scheduled, applicants should do everything they can to help the process run smoothly. This includes filing reconsideration appeals and hearing requests on time, within 60 days of the date the claim was rejected (this date is stamped in the top right corner of the decision).
Do not make the mistake of filing a new claim rather than filing an appeal. Unless there is some compelling new information to add to the medical record, it is unlikely there will be a different decision on an application. Also, be sure to comply with requests for additional information and to attend any scheduled appointments, particularly those for consultative medical exams scheduled by a disability examiner.
Finally, and perhaps this should go without saying: Show up for your hearing. A surprising number of people wait years to be scheduled for a hearing, only to fail to show up. And this is really a shame, because, though the wait for a hearing is long, statistics show that administrative law judges tend to side with claimants; about 60 percent of disability denials are overturned by disability judges.
Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing? By What Methods?
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