Joe finally admitted he was no longer able to work as his lung cancer progressed. His next step was to arrange for disability. The cancer may have prevented him from earning an income, but the bills still kept rolling in. He and his family needed help and they needed it now. He applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but was surprised to learn the timeline for the average case to reach the decision stage.
The Average Life of Social Security Disability Insurance Applications
Of course, the whole process starts with submitting your application. After that, what happens varies depending on your situation. However, applicants can usually expect some or all of the following to occur:
- A local Social Security Office may contact an applicant to correct any errors or ask for an interview.
- Applications are usually transferred to a Disability Examiner in the Disability Determinations department. Medical records will be gathered and reviewed. Applicants may be asked about their activities of daily living and receive a Work History Report Form.
- Over the next few months, applicants may receive messages asking for additional information.
- At some point, the applicant may be sent to a Social Security doctor for assessment.
- An initial decision will be made on the case, which may then be reviewed.
- The application is returned to the local Social Security Office.
- An award letter will be sent and usually posted to your online account.
The initial application process may take up to 6 months.
What May Happen Next?
The applicant may disagree with the Social Security Administration’s decision. If so, applicants typically can ask for a reconsideration. The time from request to decision is typically 2 to 4 months.
The Next Phase
Applicants who disagree with the reconsideration decision may appeal and ask for a hearing.
After submitting a Disability Report form, the applicant’s case is transferred to an administrative law judge. The judge’s office sets a date and time for the hearing. After the hearing, judges may take 1 or 2 months to make a decision. There’s usually another 1-2 month delay waiting for the decision to be written up and sent to the applicant.
The typical appeal may take any where between 17 and 22 months.
A Disability Attorney Can Help Every Step of the Way.
A Social Security Disability Insurance case may take as long as 32 months if a reconsideration and appeal are needed. Applicants without legal representation may make mistakes throughout the process, further delaying a decision.
For a free consultation with an experience Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100 or use our convenient Contact Form. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.