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

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 individual’s 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 applicant’s 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 period...to 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.

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:

Applying for disability for Plantar Fasciitis
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
How to claim disability benefits in North Carolina
Retroactive Social Security Benefits with reduced early retirement at 62?

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.