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

How often does someone get disability approved in just a few months?

The odds of being approved for disability in just a few months are good. If someone gets approved for disability at their initial disability claim (i.e. disability application), or they are approved at the reconsideration appeal level it is likely it will take just a few months to get disability benefits.

Initial disability claims generally take about three months for a decision; even if that decision is a denial, the denial can be appealed with a reconsideration appeal, formally known as a request for reconsideration. When a reconsideration is requested, the case is sent back to DDS, or disability determination services and the same process is used to evaluate the case; only this time, the case is handled by a different disability examiner.

Reconsideration appeals take about sixty days for a decision. The processing time periods of these levels of the Social Security Disability process would allow someone to get disability benefits in a few months provided they are approved for disability benefits at either of these levels.

National Social Security approval rate statistics show that roughly thirty to thirty-five percent of all disability applicants get disability approved with their initial disability claim. While reconsideration appeals have the highest rate of denial in the Social Security Disability process, another ten to fifteen percent are approved. In fact, taken as a whole, approximately 40 percent of those who file their disability applications will likely get their disability approved in less than a year. However, that still leaves a majority who are denied and must request a hearing in order to eventually be awarded benefits.

Can you shorten the time it takes to process your case?

If you have a severe medical condition, you might shorten the time it takes to be approved for disability benefits by getting medical records from all of your medical sources that have treated you within the past twelve months. Social Security will take any medical records even if they are further in the past; however they must have medical records of treatment that are no more than ninety days old to make their disability determination.

If you are not financially able to provide them yourself (doctors and hospitals will sometime provide free copies, but may also charge for copying), make sure you can give the Social Security claims representative at the social security office the information that will be needed to obtain records from your treatment providers: their names, addresses, treatment dates, etc.

This enables the disability examiner working on your disability claim to get all of your medical records timely. If you have no medical treatment or nothing in the recent past, it is likely you will be sent to a consultative examination. Consultative examinations will allow the disability examiner to get a current status of your disabling conditions.

It is important that you attend your consultative examination if one is scheduled for you; if you reschedule your examination you add more processing time to your disability claim. However, if you miss it and do not reschedule, your disability claim will be denied so reschedule if necessary.

Other than trying to make sure Social Security has all the medical information they need, you can make sure that you and your third party contact person (you will list this person at the time you file for disability--the third party contact is someone who is familiar with your situation and condition and can be reliably contacted to provide information) return questionnaires about your ability to perform daily activities.

Disability examiners use these questionaires—known as “activities of daily living questionaires--to get an idea of how your disabling conditions limit you and prevent you from working.

Lastly, make sure that you do not wait your entire sixty-day appeal period before filing for a reconsideration appeal. This just adds an unnecessary two months to the time it takes to get approved for disability.

Note: This pages does not address this question in terms of an administrative law judge hearing disability, because if your case is heard by a judge at a hearing, it will take more than a few months to get your disability approved due to the lengthy wait times involved in getting a hearing scheduled.

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:

Can you get disability for ankylosing spondylitis?
How does a person get approved for disability benefits?
The SSI Award Letter from Social Security
SSDI award letter
Am I eligible for SSI?
SSI reconsideration
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
What conditions qualify for disability in Kentucky?
How much SSI will I get in Kentucky?
Permanent Disability Benefits in Kentucky

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

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.