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

What do you do after You Apply for Disability?

If you have applied for social security disability (SSD), the wait for news on the approval or denial of your claim can take months (3 to 4 months is average). In the event that your claim is denied, and your request for reconsideration (in which you ask that social security reconsider the evidence in your case) is denied, you have the option of requesting a disability hearing in front of an ALJ, or administrative law judge — it can take one to two additional years before your case is even heard.

In the best of circumstances, it may be many months (or even years) before a claimant asking for SSD or SSI relief actually sees any disability payments, and the last thing a disabled worker wants or needs is to have their claim delayed by bureaucratic slip-ups. For this reason, it is a good idea to follow up with social security at key points to make sure that they are doing their part to move your disability application forward.

After you file with social security, your claim should be transferred to the state agency responsible for evaluating SSD and SSI claims (most often called disability determination services, or DDS). It is at this agency that a disability examiner is assigned to evaluate your medical records, and a determination of your disability status is made.

However, there have been cases in which claims have been delayed for months simply because the social security office never forwarded them to the state disability agency. If you’ve applied for disability with social security, you should call both social security and the state disability agency to make sure your claim was received for evaluation.

Likewise, if your disability benefits are denied by DDS, the disability agency, and you have filed a request for a disability hearing before and administrative judge, you should contact the hearing office to make sure social security has actually sent your file to the hearing office. There have been instances when hearing requests, be they filed by the claimant or filed by a disability attorney, are never forwarded to the hearing office, increasing what is already sure to be a lengthy wait.

Unfortunately, if the social security office mishandles your application, you have no real recourse. That is why, although it may seem unfair, it is up to you to follow up with social security and make sure they are keeping track of your claim and sending it through the proper channels. While it is true that all disability cases take some time to be processed, a couple of well-timed phone calls is all it takes to make sure yours will not be unnecessarily delayed.

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

Related pages:

Should you Look at the Disability File that Social Security has on You?
How do I apply for a Social Security disability widow’s claim?
Who handles my case if I apply for Social Security disability?
Social Security Disability Application Online
Can I apply for disability online?
Can I Collect Unemployment While I File For Disability Benefits (SSD or SSI)?
What medical conditions can you apply for disability for?
To Apply For SSI or SSD Disability Benefits, Where do I Start?
When You Apply For Disability, write Down Everything That Is Wrong With You
When I Apply For Disability, Should I List My Old Meds From Years Ago?
When I Apply for Disability - Should I apply for social Security disability or SSI?
What happens if you are working when you file for disability or work after you apply?
If Social Security Turns Down My Case Can I apply For Disability A Second Time?

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