Through the Social Security Administration (SSA), certain benefits have been put in place to help people with disabilities: Social Security Disability (SSDI). These benefits work to assist people who are unable to work due to their disability.
Before some can receive SSDI, there is an application process. This application decides if benefits will be awarded. But, out of all the applications submitted to the SSA each year, less than 30% of them are initially accepted.
Today, we have created a timeline for applying for Social Security Disability benefits that will guide you through the initial application all the way through to the final hearing and appeal process.
Don’t apply for Social Security Disability benefits yourself — hire an SSDI attorney who can help ensure you are following the right processes. Schedule an appointment at the Law Offices of B. Adam Sagan in Broward County and ask about our risk- and obligation-free consultation today!
When we talk about the application for Social Security Disability benefits, that might sound a little deceiving. The application includes an entire process that can take upwards of three to six months for an initial decision to be made. But that process could take longer depending on a wide number of factors.
Before the Application
Before you start the application, you want to make sure you are eligible to receive disability benefits. This is also a good stage to ask for advice from an attorney to make sure you have all the proper documentation and requirements for an application.
To learn more about whether or not you qualify, read through our last post about who qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits.
Starting the Application
It’s important to understand that the initial application process for Social Security Disability (SSDI) can take anywhere from three to six months. That’s what makes it so important to start working on your application as soon as possible.
The first step is to complete the disability application and submit it to the Social Security Office.
Once the application is begun, you will have an interview where it is decided whether you are eligible to apply for SSDI, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), or both. Once your eligibility is determined, your application will move through a Disability Examiner to start on your case. This can involve things like:
- Requesting your medical records from your physicians
- Contacting your point of contact from the application
- Filling out a provider Work History Report Form
- A scheduled appointment with a Social Security doctor
All of these different aspects will help the SSA determine if you are eligible for benefits.
Denial and Reconsideration
As we’ve said before in previous posts, it is very common for your first application to be denied. But that doesn’t mean you have to start the application process over!
This is the step where you must file a Reconsideration appeal — and you’ll want help from a disability attorney who is on your side. This Reconsideration appeal can take about two to four months during which:
- You (and your lawyer) will submit the reconsideration forms
- You will be assigned to a new Disability Examiner
- That examiner works to decide if the previous decision was correct
Hearings and Appeals
At this stage, this means that your Reconsideration appeal was also denied. The next step is to request a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. These appeals can take anywhere from an additional 12 and 18 months during which you will:
- Request a Disability Hearing Appeal
- Receive the name of the judge and the hearing date
- Collect and submit any necessary medical records
At the hearing, you will present evidence to the Judge and answer questions. Usually, no decision will be made by the Judge at the Hearing but you will receive the judge’s decision in two to four months following the hearing. If you are denied after a hearing, you can either request a review by the Appeals Council or start a new application. If you choose to submit a new application, the process will start over. If you need guidance on what to do following a denial at any stage in the process, always know that you can find a Social Security Disability attorney that is on your side.
If you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits following a hearing, you should receive your check in about two to four months.
Meet with B. Adam Sagan
While the details of your specific application will affect the timeline, we hope this gave you a better idea of what to expect during the SSDI process.
At the Law Offices of B. Adam Sagan in Broward County, our attorney is committed to your Social Security Disability case. That’s why he won’t take any fees until you win your case! To get a free consultation to discuss your application and case, schedule an appointment today!