Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

How Long Does it Take To Get An Answer On A Social Security Application For Disability?

Once you file a Social Security application for disability, it is sent to a state disability agency for an initial disability determination.

When cases involve terminal conditions

If an applicant’s disability application is based upon a terminal condition, there are special handling guidelines in place to process their disability claim quickly.

Disability applications based on terminal conditions are usually processed to completion in thirty days or less, so that the applicant will receive their disability benefits as soon as possible. Social Security has also created the quick disability determination (QDD) process which analyzes key data contained in the disability file. This analysis is used to predict which disability cases involve an applicant with a high probability of being disabled.

Lastly, Social Security uses the compassionate allowance process to approve individuals with various cancers, ALS, Tay Sachs, and a multitude of other severe medical conditions quickly. There are eighty-eight impairments that qualify for the compassionate allowance process.

Most cases, which are not terminal

While these processes help disability applicants with the most severe medical conditions, they are not available to all who file an application for disability with Social Security. Most applicants have to wait about three to four months for a decision to be made, because the disability determination process can take time.

Once an applicant’s disability file is received by the state disability processing agency, it is assigned to an examiner. The disability examiner has to review the file to determine if there is enough current medical evidence in the file to make a disability determination.

While Social Security disability examiners like to have at least a twelve month treatment history for an applicant’s disabling condition or conditions, they can make only make a determination on the medical evidence in file if there is at least some evidence that is no more than ninety days old. They will still request medical records from all the medical sources listed in the file, however if the records are not current they may still have to use a consultative examination to get current medical evidence for the applicant.

Social Security routinely sets goals to increase the speed at which disability applications are processed. Unfortunately, it takes time to get all the necessary evidence need to make a disability determination--especially if consultative examinations are involved. Coupled with a dramatic increase in disability applications across the country, it is not difficult to see why it takes so long to receive a disability decision.

If you file an application for disability with Social Security, you should be prepared for a wait unless you have a condition that might qualify for one of the streamline processes designed to help those with the most severe medical impairments.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
    How long does it take to get a decision on Social Security disability or SSI?
    How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Benefits When You First File?
    How long will it take to start getting disability benefits after you have received an award notice?
    How Long Can You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?
    How long does it take to appeal a disability case?
    How long does it take for the disability decision in North Carolina?
    How long does it take to receive North Carolina disability benefits after you are approved?
    How Long Will It Take For A Decision Letter For Social Security Disability?
    Can I get disability with anxiety, IBS, asthma, migraines, OCD, bad vision, and depression?
    Social Security Disability, medium work, and your records
    SSD, SSI, and medium, light, and sedentary work
    What Does Social Security Consider To Be a Disability?
    If you apply for disability in in Oklahoma
    If you apply for disability in West Virginia
    If you apply for disability in in Iowa

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

    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