Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Social Security Disability Claim Status - You may not hear from SSA for long periods so check on the case

After a claimant decides to file for social security disability, it is generally several months (3 to 4 months is average, although up to 6 months is possible) before he or she receives a decision notice in the mail.

First, social security forwards the claim to the state agency in charge of making disability determinations (usually known as disability determination services, or DDS) where it is assigned to a disability examiner. The claim may stay with the examiner for several months, during which time you may or may not hear from the examiner (depending on if the examiner needs you to provide more details regarding your medical or work history).

Many claimants spend those months in between filing and receiving a decision with absolutely no knowledge of the status of their social security disability case; not only is this not in the claimantís best interest, but it is also not necessary. It is fairly easy to check up on you claimís progression through the system, if you know where to look.

1. If your case is in the very early stages (if you filed within the past two to three weeks) try calling the social security office to see if your case has been transferred to the state disability determination services (DDS) in your area. Itís a good idea to check up on your case at this pointóthere are some cases in which social security drops the ball entirely and doesnít forward the claim to DDS for consideration. What could be more frustrating than patiently waiting for months to receive word on your claim, only to discover it has been lost on someoneís desk the entire time? Save yourself this unneeded stress and call to make sure your claim even made it out of the social security offices. Also, if you have an address change or a new telephone, call here to report the new information.

2. If you believe your claim has been transferred from social security to disability determination services, call DDS to see if they have assigned your case to a disability examiner, and if itís being actively worked on. If you are unsure of the number of your state disability agency, you can call your local social security department and ask them for the number.

3. If your claim has been denied by DDS and you (or your disability attorney) have requested that an administrative law judge review your case in a disability hearing, call the disability hearing office, known as the office of disability adjudication and review (ODAR), to see if the request is being processed or if the case has been placed on the calendar.

4. If you have a disability lawyer, you may call him or her at any stage of the process to check the status of your claim. Your representative should have an answer ready for you, or at least be able to make one or two phone calls and get back to you with the information.

Remember, it is always best to take an active role in your claim for disability. Do not assume that all is going as it should because you havenít heard anything regarding your case, when a simple phone will tell you exactly where your case stands.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

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    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