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 Far Back Can SSI Back Pay Be Paid?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
Supplemental Security Insurance disability, or SSI as it is more commonly known, is a social assistance disability program that is administered BY the Social Security Administration. And, like most social assistance programs potential, benefits are controlled by the date a person files for the assistance.
Social Security considers the date a person first contacted Social Security for a disability interview to be their protected date of filing. This is important because it generally takes a few days or even a few weeks to get an appointment to file for disability benefits.
SSI back pay can become a substantial amount simply because of the nature of the disability process. Once a person completes their disability application, their claim is sent to a state agency (DDS, or disability determination services) that is responsible for making disability decisions for Social Security. Most initial disability decisions take an average of 100 days for a decision to be made unless the person has:
A) a terminal illness
B) A condition that is considered a fast track for an approval (QDD or quick disability decision)
C) They have conditions that are on the compassionate allowance list.
Unfortunately, only about three percent of all disability cases are any of the above listed exceptions to the average disability case processing time.
If a person’s initial disability claim is denied, they must file an appeal if they still wish to pursue their claim for SSI benefits. Social Security allows sixty-five total days from the date of the denial notice to receive an appeal. Once the appeal is completed, it is forwarded back to the state disability agency for a reconsideration of the initial denial.
Reconsideration appeals generally take an average of sixty days to receive a decision. If the reconsideration appeal is denied, the claimant can file a request for an administrative law judge hearing.
The wait time for an administrative law judge hearing is the longest of the disability claim processing levels. It can take months or even years for a person to be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge. Social Security is working to shorten the wait time, but with record numbers of individuals appealing their disability claims to administrative law judges, it can still be a very long wait for a hearing.
If a person has to appeal their disability claim all the way to an administrative law judge hearing, they are realistically looking at an average of 18 months or more before they are approved for SSI disability benefits (provided they win their disability hearing).
However, even if it takes this amount of time to be approved for SSI disability benefits, Social Security will back pay a person to the date they first contacted Social Security for their disability claim.
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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