Timeline for Getting Approved for SSDI Benefits
Being diagnosed with a disability is very distressing. Not being able to perform the activities that one has been accustomed to doing, including work, can cause added strain, as the disabled individual may struggle to support himself/herself and his/her family. Fortunately, the federal government provides a program a disabled individual can use to receive financial support during the period of disability. This program, known as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and to receive SSDI benefits, a disabled individual must submit an application to the SSA for examination. However, to ensure the person qualifies as disabled, the examination process is very complex, and retaining the services of an experienced Jacksonville Social Security disability attorney is essential to a successful application. Nevertheless, the examination process is not quick, and, unfortunately, some applicants never see the end of the process, as this article illustrates – another reason why retaining counsel may be the best strategy for a successful application.
SSDI is a federal insurance program of the United States government, funded by payroll tax deductions of every employee. Managed by the SSA, it is designed to provide income supplements to individuals who are physically or mentally restricted in their ability to be employed because of a disability. SSDI is only available if the disability will last at least one year but is more often sought by individuals permanently disabled.
The SSDI Process
Once a disability manifests itself, and the individual is unable to work, the individual may file an application for SSDI benefits with the SSA. Upon receipt, the SSA will conduct an initial examination to ascertain whether the disability is preventing the applicant from continuing employment. This is done through an examination of the application, and, consequently, the time it takes for the examination is extremely dependent on the amount of evidence connected with the application and, especially, whether it is sufficiently able to provide definitive answers to the examiner’s inquiry. Accordingly, it is extremely important to include a complete and detailed medical history in the application, including the names and contact particulars of every medical professional seen with regard to the disability. Typically, this procedure will take a few months.
Although rare, if the SSA determines that the individual is medically disabled and unfit to work, the SSA will then ascertain the amount of money the individual will receive, and then begin payments.
In most cases, however, the application will be denied. At this stage, although the applicant may file a brand-new application, statistics have borne out that all subsequent applications after a denied application will also be denied. Alternatively, the applicant may choose to file an appeal, which must be done within 60 days of the denial. Additionally, the applicant may augment the application with any new information. This step will also typically take a few months.
If the application is denied at this stage, the application has the ability to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Given that this step is where most applications are accepted, many applicants proceed to this step. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a backlog, and, as a result, the time to proceed through this step can last anywhere from 9 months to nearly 2 years.
A denial at this stage allows the applicant another 60 days to file a notice of reconsideration. Typically, a few months is necessary to hear from this notice. Finally, a denial at this stage may necessitate filing a claim with the federal court system.
If you have recently submitted or are considering submitting an application for SSDI benefits, and are curious about the process, and especially the timeline, contact a disability benefits attorney as soon as possible. The legal team at Farrell Disability Law has years of experience in advising their clients in every aspect of the SSDI insurance process. Not only will we be able to educate you about this process, we will also be able to counsel you on what you need to do to give yourself the best chance at a successful SSDI application. Contact our Jacksonville office today.