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

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.

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

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 eligiblel for SSI?
SSI reconsideration
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria

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