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
What do you do after You Apply for Disability?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you have applied for social security disability (SSD), the wait for news on the approval or denial of your claim can take months (3 to 4 months is average). In the event that your claim is denied, and your request for reconsideration (in which you ask that social security reconsider the evidence in your case) is denied, you have the option of requesting a hearing in front of an administrative judge—it can take one to two additional years before your case is even heard.
In the best of circumstances, it may be many months (or even years) before a claimant asking for SSD or SSI relief actually sees any disability payments, and the last thing a disabled worker wants or needs is to have their claim delayed by bureaucratic slip-ups. For this reason, it is a good idea to follow up with social security at key points to make sure that they are doing their part to move your disability application forward.
After you file with social security, your claim should be transferred to the state agency responsible for evaluating SSD and SSI claims (most often called disability determination services, or DDS). It is at this agency that a disability examiner is assigned to evaluate your medical records, and a determination of your disability status is made. However, there have been cases in which claims have been delayed for months simply because the social security office never forwarded them to the state disability agency. If you’ve applied for disability with social security, you should call both social security and the state disability agency to make sure your claim was received for evaluation.
Likewise, if your disability benefits are denied by the disability agency, and you have filed a request for a disability hearing before and administrative judge, you should contact the hearing office to make sure social security has actually sent your file to the hearing office. There have been instances when hearing requests, be they filed by the claimant or a disability attorney, are never forwarded to the hearing office, increasing what is already sure to be a lengthy wait.
Unfortunately, if the social security office mishandles your application, you have no real recourse. That is why, although it may seem unfair, it is up to you to follow up with social security and make sure they are keeping track of your claim and sending it through the proper channels. While it is true that all disability cases take some time to be processed, a couple of well-timed phone calls is all it takes to make sure yours will not be unnecessarily delayed.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
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