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

Do people go bankrupt due to the long wait for disability benefits?

The unfortunate answer to this question is yes, they do. Why does this happen? For a couple of reasons. One is that the Social Security Disability, SSI disability system moves incredibly slow. Most applicants for SSD or SSI, even if they have never spoken to anyone else who has filed for disability, have an intuitive sense that applying for disability will involve a lot of waiting. However, most would be absolutely stunned to learn just how long a claim can take.

For most claimants, the experience will be something like this: their disability application will be denied several months after they apply. If they file an appeal (reconsideration), then this will consume several more months. If this appeal is denied and a claimant decides to file the next appeal (a request for a disability hearing), then the wait may involve 12-24 months of additional waiting (the wait for a hearing depends on where you live since hearings offices around the country have different levels of backlogs).

Obviously, when the entire disability application and appeal process can take 2-3 years to get through, its not difficult to see that many applicants would end up going bankrupt at some point. Therefore, an incredibly slow disability system is certainly to blame.

However, there are many instances in which an individual filing for benefits could have been put themselves in a better position to withstand the financial rigor of this extended process. How do you put yourself in a better position?

1. If your medical or mental condition prevents you from being able to work and earn a substantial and gainful income, file for disability. Don't think about it. Don't ponder it. Simply file the application for disability. If your condition remisses (gets better), then, of course, you can always withdraw your application. But at least you will have something "in the pipe" in the event that your condition does not get better.

2. If you get denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI application, don't wait to file an appeal. SSA gives you two months to file your appeal but this certainly does not mean that you should wait two months to file your appeal.

Remember, when it comes to your financial situation, time is of the essence. And though you can't speed up the process in most cases, there is no reason to allow a claim to take any longer than it absolutely has to.

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:

Social Security Disability Requirements
Filing a Social Security Disability or SSI application
SSI disability qualifications for adults and children
Permanent disabilility qualifications

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
How does back pay for Social Security Disability work?
What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
What is qualifying for disability based on?
How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
How long does it take to get disability?
Filing and applying for disability in Texas

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.