Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
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

What is the average amount of time it takes for a disability decision after filing?

The average amount of time it takes to receive a decision after filing for SSD benefits, also referred to as SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits is about 120 days, or approximately three months. This is also holds true for most SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, claims, as both SSD and SSI claims are evaluated by a social security disability examiner in the state disability determination agency, to whom it will make absolutely no difference which program a claim is filed under (there are differences in the financial qualifications that must be met under each program, but these are determined by the social security administration at the federal level).

However, keep in mind that three months is only a statistical average, and this timeframe does not apply to each individual case. Some cases (not the majority) are decided within a month, while others may take more than a year. Why are some cases decided relatively quickly, while others drag on for months?

There are two major factors that influence the amount of time it takes for a disability claimant to receive a decision from disability determination services (DDS).

One is the completeness of the medical and work histories provided to the disability examiner, and the other is the disability process itself, which may require more information in the form of additional medical tests, a consultative exam (CE), interviews with coworkers or relatives regarding an individualís daily activities, etc., before a determination can be made as to the claimantís ability to work in spite of his or her condition (i.e.residual functional capacity).

In order to ensure that your case moves along as quickly as possible, it is important to provide the most complete medical and work history possible right at the start, including all names, addresses, and contact information of work supervisors and past treating physicians.

Remember that, even if you have all the required information up front and present it in an organized fashion, it may take some time (months in some cases) for the disability examiner to hear back from doctors regarding your case. It is not unusual, unfortunately, for physicians to be slow responding to requests for medical records. Sometimes itís possible for the disability claimant to pick up the necessary papers and hand-deliver them to the disability office, and if you have the time to do this, itís not a bad idea.

Also, if you are currently undergoing treatment for your disability and there are any new developments in your condition, be sure to provide your disability examiner with an updated list of medical facilities visited, tests performed, medications prescribed, etc.

This is important at every stage of the determination process, from the initial claim to the reconsideration appeal to, if necessary, the hearing level. If you have been denied by disability determination services on appeal, and have requested a hearing before an administrative judge, remember also to keep your disability lawyer informed about any changes in your medical condition that may strengthen your case.

  • 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 get a decision on Social Security disability or SSI?
    What kind of Final Decision can I receive on my Disability Application?
    How are Decisions on SSDI and SSI Disability Claims made by SSA?
    How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal is Made
    Who Makes The Social Security Disability Decision, A Judge Or A Caseworker?
    How long does the Social Security judge take to make a decision on a case?
    Will an SSI or Social Security Exam help with the Decision?
    Can you get a Social Security Disability decision in under a month?
    Still Waiting For My Social Security Disability Decision
    The average amount of time it takes for a disability decision
    Social Security Disability, SSI Decisions Ė What Is the Rate of Approval?
    Social Security On The Record Disability Decisions
    If you apply for disability in Florida
    Will I qualify for disability Benefits in Florida?
    Permanent Social Security Disability in Florida

    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