Social Security Disability and SSI Decisions

    What happens after a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending
    Once your disability case has been assigned to a disability examiner, you may be asked to either provide additional information or attend an examination appointment.

    How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security Disability?
    The length of time it takes to make a disability determination depends on a broad range of variables, including how many times you have to go through the disability process (initial claim, reconsideration, and hearing).

    Is Social Security required to give you a decision on your disability case in a certain amount of time?
    It is the wait for medical records that usually comprises most of the delay. However, there are other factors that typically add time to the processing of a case.

    Will a Social Security Judge give You an Immediate Decision at the Disability Hearing?
    Sometimes the ALJ will do this. When this happens, it is known as a bench decision. The judge will announce the decision to the claimant and their representative at the hearing and the formal written version of the decision will follow in the mail.

    If you appeal a Social Security Disability denial, how long does it take to receive a decision?
    Because your claim will not necessarily start from scratch, most reconsideration appeal decisions will be received in sixty days or less. However, this is not always the case.

    Will the the SSA Examiner Call or Contact me about my Social Security Disability or SSI Claim?
    Sometimes a disability examiner will call or write for information that applicants do not include in their medical and work histories, such as correct contact information for treating physicians, or employers, or the dates of medical treatment or employment.

    The Time Involved on a Social Security Disability Decision
    The actual time it takes to receive a disability decision depends on several variables, such as how easy or difficult it is for a disability examiner to get copies of your medical records, as well as how many cases are piled upon the disability examiner's desk awaiting review.

    Appealing A Social Security Disability Determination
    If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal of the denial. You have a sixty-five day total appeal period from the date of your disability denial notice to appeal your disability decision.

    When does social security consider you eligible for disability benefits?
    What does the SSA definition of disability say? Basically that, to qualify for disability benefits, a person's condition (or conditions, and they can be either physical or mental, or more than one of each) must be severe enough that they no longer have the ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income.

    Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
    Your actual award letter or Notice of Award, that spells out how much money you will receive--and when--may take another six weeks or so to arrive.

    The Medical Vocational Allowance for Social Security Disability and SSI cases
    If you file for Social Security Disability or SSI disability and are approved for benefits, the approval will happen in one of two ways.

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.