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How Long Does it Take to be Approved for SSD? What if You are Denied?

On behalf of Brad Wicker of BDIW Law posted on Tuesday April 05, 2022.

Getting SSD is a lengthy process. Learn more about the approval and denial processes.

If you have become disabled and unable to work due to a medical condition or serious injury, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits are available for those who have a debilitating medical condition or injury that is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

However, there are still strict requirements involved and the process is very lengthy. Even if you think you are well-qualified, do not expect to receive any benefits quickly. There is a backlog of claims due to COVID and other issues. As of November 2021, a Social Security Disability application took, on average, 168 days to process. That is more than five months.

Waiting Period Applies

But that is not all. Payments also do not begin until you have served a five-month waiting period. This waiting period has been in place since the program began in the 1950s and is used to ensure applicants have a genuine disability that prevents them from working so that those who can work are deterred from applying.

This waiting period starts the day you become disabled. But with the backlog, that means that once your application is approved, you might not have to wait long for benefits. If the Social Security Administration determines that your disability started even earlier, they can pay retroactive benefits for the months between the end of your waiting period and when your claim was approved.

However, there are some exceptions to the waiting period. For example, there is no waiting period for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). There is also a Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program in which the Social Security Administration can waive the five-month waiting period and allow for approval within days. There are 254 conditions on this list, including certain cancers, immune system diseases, and rare genetic disorders. The Social Security Administration will automatically determine if you are eligible for this program.

What if My Claim is Denied?

Not all claims are approved. If there is not sufficient evidence that you are too disabled to work, then your claim may be denied. If you receive a denial, you do have the option to file an appeal. You have up to 60 days to request an appeal. There are four types of appeals:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal court review

The denial letter you received will explain the determination and offer guidance on what level of appeal you should choose if you wish to proceed.

Contact Our Tulsa SSD Attorneys Today

Getting Social Security Disability benefits is no easy task. It can take many months for your claim to be processed. Plus, not many claims are approved the first time around. Appealing your claim will delay your benefits even longer.

The Tulsa Social Security Disability attorneys at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker can assess your situation and help you through this often-complicated process. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (580) 765-9660 or fill out the online form.