One of the worst things about applying for Social Security Disability is how long it can take to receive benefits. That is why one of the first questions we are often asked at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker is how long it will take to be approved for disability benefits. Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. Keep reading to learn more, and then contact us at 866-536-5788 for a free legal consultation.
There is No Such Thing as a “Ballpark” Answer
When we tell clients that there is no single answer to this question, they often ask us to give them an average or a ballpark figure. There really is no answer to this question either. Some people can get approved in just months, while others will require two years to get approved. The key is to understand what factors affect how long it takes so that you can anticipate if your claim is likely to be faster or slower than others.
First There is the Initial Claim
The first step is to file an initial claim. In most cases, these take between 30 and 90 days to process. If your approval comes on your initial claim, then it should take less than 90 days total – and you are one of the lucky ones.
However, more first-time claims are denied than are approved. This requires you to go through the disability appeal process, which can significantly increase the overall amount of time it takes to have your claim handled.
Your Doctor Can Slow Down the Process
In order for your claim to be successfully processed, you will need access to various medical records. Ideally, your doctors will send them as soon as you ask for them – or shortly thereafter – but if they take days, weeks, or even months to respond to a request, this can slow down the process significantly. If that happens, you might be able to get your own copies of your medical records to send in with your application.
You Might Be Required to Meet with Another Doctor
If the SSA does not believe that your initial application has enough medical evidence, you might be required to meet with an SSA doctor. Getting an appointment can take a long time and can therefore slow down the process of getting approved. This is why it is very important that once you get an appointment, you keep it.
How to Speed Up Approval
As you can see, many of the issues that slow down the approval process are out of your hands, but there are some things you can do to hopefully speed up the process. This includes making sure that you provide all the medical evidence you have, add all of the doctors to your application, get letters from your doctor, monitor the progress of your claim, and work with an attorney. For a free consultation, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 866-536-5788.