How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for SSDI Benefits?
Suffering an injury on the job or becoming too ill to work is stressful enough. Going through the process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits creates even more worry and stress. It’s not an easy situation to be in. You have been labeled by your doctor as having an illness or disability that prevents you from working for more than 12 months. This makes you eligible for SSDI. However, you probably want to know how long it can take to be approved for these benefits. Let’s examine the average wait times for having SSDI benefits approved in today’s post.
The Initial Claim
There is no definitive answer to the question posed earlier because each case is different. The first thing you need to examine when trying to determine how long it will take for benefit approval is the status of your initial claim. If you are one of the few people out there lucky enough to have an initial claim approved, it could take no more than 90 days to see your first check from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Should your initial claim be denied, you will need to endure the appeals process, which can be quite lengthy. Some people receive benefits in a few weeks and some wait years to eventually have their claim approved.
Acquiring Medical Records
Another factor that plays a big role in how long it might take for benefit approval is acquiring your medical records. You might inform your doctors immediately that your records need to be sent for review, but will they honor this request immediately? Many doctor’s offices are short staffed and overwhelmed with patients and other requests. Your request could wind up lost or simply put at the back of the line. If this seems to be taking too long, make copies of the records at your next visit and send them in yourself.
Social Security Doctor Examination
Once your records are submitted, the SSA will review them. It is quite possible that the SSA is not happy with the information gleaned from your records. This could lead to an appointment for an exam conducted by an SSA doctor. This will undoubtedly add time to your case and prolong the process for benefit approval. Just make sure you stick to the appointment that is made, even if it is months in advance and something comes up. You do not want to reschedule as this will further delay the process.
What is a Compassionate Allowance?
There is one way you can speed up your benefits claim with the SSA and that is through the Compassionate Allowance. This initiative provides for an exception to the rule when it comes to the normal process. If you suffer from one of 88 cancers or rare diseases as outlined by the SSA, your claim for benefits can be expedited so you do not have to wait weeks to years to receive benefits. Why? These cases typically involve illnesses or diseases that are extremely severe in nature. It is possible, when using this initiative, to win a disability benefits case in as little as 20 days.
Terminal Illness Cases
The SSA also has a benefits program for terminally ill patients (TERI). These illnesses include any of the following:
- Metastatic cancer
- Stage IV cancer
- Small cell lung cancer
- Comatose for 30 or more days
- Being on the waiting list for a liver, heart, lung, or bone marrow transplant
- Cancer in the liver, esophagus, brain, gallbladder, or pancreas
- Having dependency on a cardiopulmonary life-sustaining piece of equipment
- A newborn with a congenital defect or fatal genetic defect
- Cancer that recurs after therapy
- Cancer that is inoperable
Applying for SSDI Benefits? Contact an Experienced Disability Benefits Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury or illness and will not be able to work for at least 12 months, you are eligible for SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration. It is important to file for benefits with the help of an experienced disability benefits attorney. Too many times people make mistakes on their initial claim application that lead to the claim being denied. Call the office of Walton Law, LLC at 251-455-5819 to schedule a consultation today.