How long does it take to file for disability?
On average it takes about ninety days to get a decision on your disability claim. The disability determination process takes time. Once you file your application for disability with Social Security, it will be sent to a state disability agency for a medical determination.
The state disability specialist will first review your disability case file to see what medical source information you provided. They will send requests for your medical records and evaluate the records to see if there is enough information to make a disability decision. If not, they may have to schedule a consultative examination to get the necessary information.
Once enough objective medical information has been received, they will make their disability determination. If your disability claim is a denial, the state agency responsible will mail out a denial notice. If your disability claim is approved, it will be sent back to your local Social Security office for the final decisional process.
If you applied for SSDI only, you will receive your approval notice very soon after it is received at the local office. However, if your disability claim was a concurrent disability claim (both SSDI and SSI) or SSI only, it will take more time. You will have to complete an end line interview to ascertain if you still qualify for this need based disability program.
In summary, the average amount of time it takes for a disability claim to receive a decision is about 90 days. The time it takes to file for disability and receive a decision can be less or more than 90 days dependent upon the unique facts of your disability claim.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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