When you feel terrible, it’s hard to wait for something that might help you feel a little more secure. But when you apply for government benefits, you seldom get a quick answer. For example, let’s look at Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Understanding how long it takes the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”) to process SSDI and SSI applications can help you plan ahead.
Applying for SSDI and SSI
First, it’s important not to understand your timing. You should start your application as soon as you know you are disabled. One reason for this is that SSDI benefits do not begin until the sixth month of disability. The first five months are a waiting period. So, even if you are approved, you will have to wait. In some cases, people might qualify for retroactive or back benefits.
You can apply for disability benefits by calling Social Security’s toll-free number (1-800-772-1213), by using the online application, or making an appointment at a Social Security office. However, because of COVID-19, offices may be closed for in-person appointments except in special cases.
In addition to completing the application, you will need to provide supporting documents and information. For example, Social Security might need the following types of information:
- Personal data about you and your family
- Financial data, especially for SSI applications
- Work history, for SSDI applications
- Medical records and information about your disability
Your disability attorney can help you understand the application and assemble the right documents. This step is crucial because Social Security denies many applications because of incorrect or missing paperwork.
Time Needed to Process SSI and SSDI Applications or When Can I Start Getting My Benefits?
It’s difficult to pin down a specific timeline that you will start receiving benefits. The time to process SSDI and SSI applications differs based on several factors:
- missing information or documentation
- delays in getting your medical records
- eligibility for the Compassionate Allowances program
Generally speaking, though, Social Security takes about 3 to 5 months to process SSDI and SSI applications. If Social Security does not award benefits, you can appeal. This might add another year to the time it takes to process SSDI and SSI applications.
Social Security Needs Time to Process SSI and SSDI Applications. Your Attorney Can Help.
As we mentioned above, applying for government benefits is complicated. Many first-time claims are denied. But it helps to have an experienced disability attorney in your corner.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have the experience and ability to take on your case. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients throughout Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.