Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
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.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions
Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews