Hurry Up and Wait! A Projected Timeline of Your Social Security Disability Benefits
When it comes to any benefits that people receive from the government, it is safe to assume that they will be accompanied by a waiting period to receive them. The Social Security Disability (SSD) benefit program is no exception, and as the number of individuals claiming disabilities continues to rise, the wait only gets longer.
If you have looked into the application process at all, or even experienced it on your own, you know that it is rife with challenges. A large majority of people are denied initially, and there are always ominous media stories focusing on the lack of funds and possible benefit cuts—but beneath all of the problems, the Social Security Disability benefits system remains an important source of income for many individuals and families across the country.
When Will You Receive Your SSD Benefits?
- Initial Application Decision: Three to six months
- First Appeal: Additional three to six months
- Second Appeal: Up to or over twelve months
Initial Application Decision
In a perfect world, you would receive your benefits in as soon as three months after you first apply. Of course, this is assuming that you have included all of the proper forms, documents, and medical records to support your disability claim, and it is very rare that people include everything they need the first time. A more realistic scenario is that you go back and forth with your claim agent to get everything included, and you will hear around the six month mark.
Do not feel defeated if you are denied benefits, as you are in good company—most people are denied benefits at first. The first appeal process is very similar to your initial application process; you will be asked to provide extra documents and records, and may be asked to go see another doctor who will perform a consultative exam. Again, expect to hear a decision within three to six months.
Request for Hearing
If your appeal is denied, you can submit a Request for Hearing, which is a second appeal. This is where you can buckle down and expect a long wait—you will be placed in a queue behind every other applicant who has been denied. This process is frustrating, and can take over a year to be scheduled.
The Sooner You Hire an Attorney, the Smoother Your Process Will Be
The pool of applicants waiting to receive SSD benefits is huge and growing constantly. The best thing you can do to improve your odds of a successful application is to ensure that your application is complete, correct, and backed by an abundance of medical evidence. If you are denied, seeking the assistance of an attorney is critical, especially if you are facing a hearing.
If you are confused, overwhelmed, or at your wits’ end with the SSD application and appeals process, our law firm can help. As a New Jersey disability attorney, I have helped people in your exact situation get the benefits they have earned through years of hard work. Call me today to schedule a consultation, or click on the live chat link to get started now.