If you must apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because you cannot work due to a disabling medical condition, it can be stressful to wait for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make a decision on whether you qualify for benefits. While some people are approved in as little as 30 days, others can wait a year or longer before they receive a final decision.
How Long Could it Take to Get a Decision on Your SSDI Application?
Understanding how long it will take to get through the different stages of a SSDI claim can relieve your stress and help you know what to expect. Here is how long it could take:
- Initial application. The average response time for the SSA to reach a decision after you apply for SSDI benefits is three to four months, but this time period could be extended to up to eight months.
- Reconsideration. If the SSA denies your request for benefits, you will need to file a request for reconsideration of their decision. It could take them three to four months to send you a decision on your initial appeal.
- Appeal. You will need to file an appeal and have your case decided by an administrative law judge (ALJ) if your request for reconsideration is denied. It could take six months to two years before your hearing is scheduled and the ALJ makes a decision on your claim.
How to Get a Decision Faster
You can take steps to speed up the process of receiving a decision from the Social Security Administration. Here are a few tips on what you can do:
- Fill out your application completely, and list all the doctors you have seen. You should provide their contact information and the dates you were examined by them.
- Include all of your medical records. This will avoid the SSA having to contact your physicians for this information, which could delay their initial decision significantly.
- Obtain letters from all doctors who are treating you for your disability. Their letters should explain your medical condition and how it prevents you from working.
- Check on the status of your application to be certain that the SSA does not need additional information and that they are reviewing your application. You can check this on the SSA website or by calling and speaking to a SSA representative.
What is the best way to be certain that your claim goes faster? Retain an experienced Social Security disability lawyer immediately. They can help you file your application properly, provide all the documentation needed for you to get a quick decision, and file your appeal if this is necessary. To learn how we can help, call our Roswell office to schedule your free consultation today.