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 does it take to appeal a disability case ?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The social security administration does not employ specific deadlines for case processing on applications or appeals. This is very different from other types of programs, such as the types of programs that may be applied for at the Department of Social Services which have very distinct deadlines. The reason for the lack of processing deadlines on social security disability and SSI disability claims is fairly easy to understand, however. SSD and SSI claims cannot be properly decided until two things occur.
1. The claimant's medical records must be gathered.
2. The claimant's medical records must be properly evaluated.
Regarding the first item and speaking as a former disability examiner, I can state that obtaining medical records can be harder in some cases than in others, particularly when it involves attempts to locate older records. Also, some doctor's offices and hospitals are simply much slower at responding to record's requests.
Regarding the second item, the disability evaluation process can sometimes take longer due to the fact that a claimant's medical records will be read, reviewed, and evaluated not only by the disability examiner who has been assigned to the case, but also by a physician (or pschologist for mental impairments) that is assigned to the examiner's processing unit, and by the disability examiner's unit supervisor.
So, having said all this, how long does an appeal take? The first appeal, the reconsideration, can sometimes take longer than an initial claim. But, very often, reconsiderations are decided more quickly, simply because the claim is being looked at a second time by the same agency just a few weeks after the initial claim (i.e. the disability application) was processed. On average, reconsideration appeals take about 30-60 days. The second appeal, the disability hearing before a federal administrative law judge, can take considerably longer. After requesting a hearing, it can take 1-2 years to get a hearing date. This depends on where you live and how backed up your local hearing office is.
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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