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

Social Security Disability Advice for Filing

It is well known that the wait for disability benefits can be a long one. It takes on average three to four months after filing a claim to receive a decision from the state disability determination agency, and if your claim is denied upon initial review (the vast majority are) then the reconsideration appeal and, if necessary, disability hearing can take additional months, or even years (the backlog of disability cases waiting to be heard before an administrative judge is considerable in all areas of the country).

The ideal situation, then, is for a claimant to have their disability application approved quickly by the disability examiner at the first level of consideration, the state disability determination agency. This is indeed a rare occurrence, but it does happen, and at any rate you can help speed up the process if you follow this advice for filing for social security disability benefits:

1. Seek medical treatment for your condition as soon as possible. The idea is to make sure that you can provide documentation from a qualified physician that demonstrates you are a) currently suffering from a medical condition that is inhibiting or preventing you from working and b) that this condition is ongoing rather than temporary, and is likely to prevent you from working in the future.

2. Make sure that the physician from whom you are receiving treatment is willing to help you document your condition when you apply for disability benefits. This means letting your doctor know up front that you plan to file for disability, and asking if he or she would be willing to fill out a residual functional capacity (RFC) statement for you in support of your claim.

It is important to get an idea beforehand if your physician is willing to be involved in a disability caseósome doctors are unsympathetic toward disability patients in general, and others do not want to spend the extra time involved in providing a disability examiner with the necessary paperwork. If you get the feeling that your physician is not willing to help you make your case, or is in any way skeptical that your condition is truly disabling, find a new doctor.

All disability benefits are awarded based on information found in medical reports, and without this documentation your case will certainly be delayed, and, in all likelihood, denied.

3. Provide a detailed, organized, medical and work history. This is by far the most time-consuming part of the disability process for the claimant, but it makes all the difference in the world in how quickly a claim is decided. Donít expect that vague dates, lack of addresses, names, etc., is something that will be acceptable or that the disability examiner will fill in these blanks for you.

At some point you will have to come up with the correct information, so do it sooner rather than later. One thing all disability cases that are approved early in the process have in common is that they have plenty of verifiable medical evidence to back them up.

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

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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria