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 Quickly Is The Disability Claim Decision Made?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
It is impossible to determine how quickly a disability claim decision can be made. Social Security creates yearly case processing goals for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI disability) decisions. But while SSA strives to achieve timely processing goals, each claim is unique.
Some disability claims already have enough medical information in the file, thus enabling a faster decision to be made. However, most disability claims require the following to make a disability decision:
A) Medical record development (obtaining medical records can be very time consuming).
B) Consultative medical examinations (it takes time to get an appointment and receive the examination report from the consultative medical professional).
C) Activities of daily living questionnaires.
It takes longer to make a disability decision that requires extra development such as consultative examinations, or on disability claims in which medical treatment sources are slow to send medical records.
Also, it takes longer for disability cases that involve a recent heart attack or stroke, or eye surgery. If a disability claimant has had a heart attack or stroke, their claim is generally deferred and held for nearly ninety days before a decision can be made. Why? Social Security thinks an individual’s maximum medical improvement can be assessed within ninety days of the medical incident.
Once a decision is made, the claim is returned to the disability applicant’s local Social Security office for adjudication. In recent years, disability processing time has become a public relations issue for Social Security, especially at the administrative law judge hearing appeal level. Intense public scrutiny has prompted Social Security to improve claim processing time at all levels of the disability process from the initial disability claim level through the administrative law judge hearing level. However, the best way to reduce the wait time is to do the following:
1. If you have a serious medical impairment, do not "think" about filing for disability. Instead, get the claim filed and "in the pipeline" because, depending on any number of variables, wait times could lengthen at some point.
2. Do not wait until the end of an appeal period...to file a disability appeal. In other words, even though social security gives you 60 days to file an appeal after you receive denial letter, you should not wait. You should get the appeal sent in immediately to reduce your total waiting time.
3. If you get scheduled for a social security medical examination, do not miss the appointment. Missing an appointment for a CE, or consultative exam, can add a month or more to the total processing time for your case.
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Topics and Questions
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