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
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SSDI Decision or SSI Decision - How long does it take?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
The average amount of time it takes to receive a decision after filing for SSD benefits, also referred to as SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits is about 120 days, or approximately three months. This is also holds true for most SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, claims, as both SSD and SSI claims are evaluated by a social security disability examiner in the state disability determination agency, to whom it will make absolutely no difference which program a claim is filed under (there are differences in the financial qualifications that must be met under each program, but these are determined by the social security administration at the federal level).
However, keep in mind that three months is only a statistical average, and this timeframe does not apply to each individual case. Some cases (not the majority) are decided within a month, while others may take more than a year. Why are some cases decided relatively quickly, while others drag on for months?
There are two major factors that influence the amount of time it takes for a disability claimant to receive a decision from disability determination services (DDS). One is the completeness of the medical and work histories provided to the disability examiner, and the other is the disability process itself, which may require more information in the form of additional medical tests, a consultative exam (CE), interviews with coworkers or relatives regarding an individualís daily activities, etc., before a determination can be made as to the claimantís ability to work in spite of his or her condition (i.e.residual functional capacity).
In order to ensure that your case moves along as quickly as possible, it is important to provide the most complete medical and work history possible right at the start, including all names, addresses, and contact information of work supervisors and past treating physicians. Remember that, even if you have all the required information up front and present it in an organized fashion, it may take some time (months in some cases) for the disability examiner to hear back from doctors regarding your case. It is not unusual, unfortunately, for physicians to be slow responding to requests for medical records. Sometimes itís possible for the disability claimant to pick up the necessary papers and hand-deliver them to the disability office, and if you have the time to do this, itís not a bad idea.
Also, if you are currently undergoing treatment for your disability and there are any new developments in your condition, be sure to provide your disability examiner with an updated list of medical facilities visited, tests performed, medications prescribed, etc. This is important at every stage of the determination process, from the initial claim to the reconsideration appeal to, if necessary, the hearing level. If you have been denied by disability determination services on appeal, and have requested a hearing before an administrative judge, remember also to keep your disability lawyer informed about any changes in your medical condition that may strengthen your case.
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