Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

How Quickly Is The Disability Claim Decision Made?

It is impossible to determine how quickly a disability claim decision can be made. Social Security creates yearly case processing goals for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI disability) decisions. But while SSA strives to achieve timely processing goals, each claim is unique.

Some disability claims already have enough medical information in the file, thus enabling a faster decision to be made. However, most disability claims require the following to make a disability decision:

A) Medical record development (obtaining medical records can be very time consuming).

B) Consultative medical examinations that are scheduled--and paid--by Social Security (it takes time to get an appointment and receive the examination report from the consultative medical professional).

C) Activities of daily living questionnaires.

It takes longer to make a disability decision that requires extra development such as consultative examinations, or on disability claims in which medical treatment sources are slow to send medical records.

Also, it takes longer for disability cases that involve a recent heart attack or stroke, or eye surgery. If a disability claimant has had a heart attack or stroke, their claim is generally deferred and held for nearly ninety days before a decision can be made. Why? Social Security thinks an individualís maximum medical improvement can be assessed within ninety days of the medical incident.

Once a decision is made, the claim is returned to the disability applicantís local Social Security office for adjudication. In recent years, disability processing time has become a public relations issue for Social Security, especially at the administrative law judge hearing appeal level. Intense public scrutiny has prompted Social Security to improve claim processing time at all levels of the disability process from the initial disability claim level through the administrative law judge hearing level. However, the best way to reduce the wait time is to do the following:

1. If you have a serious medical impairment, do not "think" about filing for disability. Instead, get the claim filed and "in the pipeline" because, depending on any number of variables, wait times could lengthen at some point.

2. Do not wait until the end of an appeal file a disability appeal. In other words, even though social security gives you 60 days to file an appeal after you receive denial letter, you should not wait. You should get the appeal sent in immediately to reduce your total waiting time.

3. If you get scheduled for a social security medical examination, do not miss the appointment. Missing an appointment for a CE, or consultative exam, can add a month or more to the total processing time for your case.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Has my Disability Claim Been Approved?
Social Security Disability Tips ó 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
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina
Retroactive Social Security Benefits with reduced early retirement at 62?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria