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

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.

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

Related pages:

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

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 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