How long should it take to find out if you are eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Because every claim is different, there is no time frame that can be set to determine how long the SSD benefit process will take. There are numerous variables that need to be considered when figuring out how long an applicant should expect to wait, which includes how many times an applicant has been through the process already. There is no guarantee that you will be approved right away and each level of the SSD benefits process takes a considerable amount of time.

Eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits

Average time span for each level of the process

Generally, it takes 30-90 days to receive a decision from Social Security on your first claim. If you do receive a denial after your initial claim, you can appeal and expect to hear back within 60 days. If you are denied again, you can appeal and fill out a request to have a hearing with a disability judge. Unfortunately, because this is a tedious process, it is the most overwhelming and longest of the levels. Because hearing’s happen so often when it comes to filing for SSD benefits, applicants wait at least a year before having a hearing. Though it is a time costing process, it is the level that is most likely to receive an approval.

How to get fast answers with disability claims

Though some of the levels in the process take time, some disability applicants don’t have to go through this entire process their first time. There is a process called TERI, which designates certain cases such as a terminal illness and will approve the claim in 30 days or less. There are other programs that make for a quick turnaround time — quick disability determination and Compassionate Allowances. The quick disability determination program will analyze certain parts of the claim if it is likely that it will be approved. The compassionate allowances program helps SS determine claims that involve conditions that meet the qualifications in the Blue Book impairment listings.

Generally speaking, almost, if not all, disability applications that are approved are processed in 90 days or less. Even if an applicant is denied initially, but the reconsideration is approved, the applicant is likely to be approved in 6 months or less. It is important to understand that roughly 65 percent of the initial claims are denied at first.


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