How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What is the SSI and Social Security Disability Application Wait Time?

Once an individual applies for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability at a local social security office, their claim will be sent to a state disability determination agency (known as disability determination services, or DDS for short) for a medical determination.

Prior to the social security office sending a disability claim to the state disability agency, a CR, or Social Security claims representative (the CR is the person who actually takes the disability application at the social security office) has to receive all of the needed information and this includes having all of the forms in-file.

Remember, the overall processing time for your disability claim can be extended if the claims representative does not have all the forms needed to forward your disability claim to the state disability agency (where the case would be assigned to a disability examiner, the individual who gathers and reviews the medical records and then makes a medical decision on the claim).

If you have completed your application by any method other than an in-person office interview at your local Social Security office, you will have to return any needed forms (including your medical releases) prior to Social Security sending your disability claim to DDS for a decision.

Generally, your SSI disability claim (or Social Security Disability claim) will be processed in roughly one hundred days or less. This is just an estimate of the time needed for processing your disability claim. If your disabling condition is likely to result in death, Social Security has procedures in place to expedite the processing of your disability claim. Social Security attempts to process these claims within thirty days provided they can get the necessary information expeditiously.

If your medical condition is not likely to result in death, processing time can vary depending on the availability of medical records (which is exactly why you need to supply full and accurate information regarding your doctors and hospitals on the disability application so the disability examiner will have no difficulty requesting the records) and the need for additional medical information.

If you do not have any medical treatment sources, or you have no "current" medical treatment source information (Social Security considers current medical treatment to be information that is less than ninety days old; otherwise, it is not current), the disability examiner handling your disability case is likely to schedule you for a consultative examination, or several types of examinations, to address your disabling condition or conditions.

As you might guess, your disability claim will take longer to process if consultative examinations are needed due to the time it takes attend the examination, and wait for the doctor’s consultative examination report.

Naturally, every SSI disability and Social Security Disability claim is unique; consequently some disability claims take a short time to process while others take longer than the hundred-day average. Social Security is always trying to trim processing time for disability cases; however, there are disability cases that simply take longer to process than others.

You can help the processing of your disability claim by having medical treatment sources for all of your disabling conditions and by making sure that you have current medical treatment. If more clarification is needed, make sure that you attend any consultative examinations and return all requested information timely.

Believe it or not, there are many claimants who are scheduled for medical examinations by independent physicians (consultative exams) and fail to go, the effect being that they slow down the processing of their claim by weeks and sometimes months (rescheduling exams is based on the availability of private, independent physicians who are willing to perform consultative exams for the social security administration).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Should I get a lawyer if I have already filed for disability?
What is considered to be a disability for SSDI or SSI?
Who can get SSI disability?
Has my Disability Claim Been Approved?
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Advice to Win Social Security Disability and SSI Benefit Claims
How Quickly Is The Disability Claim Decision Made?
What is the SSI and Social Security Disability Application Wait Time?
How do you get an SSI disability application and Claim started?
Avoiding Mistakes to get your Disability Claim Approved
How to Claim Disability Benefits through Social Security
Social Security Disability Approval and Denial Rates
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.