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
If you receive a Social Security Disability Denial quickly does that mean the case is weak?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
No, the speed at which a social security disability or SSI claim is decided really has nothing to do with the strength of the case. When it comes to disability applications and reconsideration appeals (a reconsideration is the first appeal a claimant can file), these decisions are made by disability examiners who work at DDS, a.k.a. disability determination services.
DDS disability examiners do not process cases according to deadlines or even according to how long they have had a particular case in their caseload (though, to some extent, examiners are rated according to how "aged" their caseload is). Instead, they really try to close all cases as quickly as possible. And how fast an SSD or SSI disability claim can be closed depends almost entirely on how long it takes for the disability examiner to obtain a claimant's medical records. If the records come in quickly, the disability examiner may make a faster decision. If the records take longer, so will the disability decision. Of course, the wait for records is something that is largely beyond the disability examiner's control.
One of the very first things that a disability examiner will do in processing a disability claim will be to send out medical record request letters to all the various medical treatment sources that were listed at the time of application (or appeal). Many doctors and hospitals will comply with these requests fairly quickly. However, very often it will quite a number of weeks for one treatment provider or another to send in the requested records. And, generally, unless the records that have already been received are extremely strong and persuasive, the disability examiner will be forced to wait for the remaining medical records to arrive.
There are other factors that may delay a decision on a social security disability case, but the basic point is that the processing time for a case usually has little to do with the outcome of a case, and will not indicate whether the decision will be an approval or denial.
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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