Why do disability claims take so long?

Social Security Disability claims can take many months and sometimes years to process. Because this process is stressful and time-consuming, many people wisely choose to hire an attorney to help handle their claim.

The initial application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) usually takes between 3 and 6 months to process. If the claim is denied, you can file a reconsideration appeal which can take another 3-6 months to process. If the reconsideration appeal is denied, a Judicial Hearing can be requested which can take 1-2 years to schedule. There are several reasons it takes so long to process a Social Security Disability claim.

There are 2 government agencies involved in processing your Disability claim, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Disability Determination Services (DDS). The SSA takes the claim and sends it to DDS where it will be assigned to an examiner who will request your medical records and make a decision on your eligibility for disability benefits.

One reason for long delays in the Social Security Disability claims process is that the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services are overworked and understaffed. DDS examiners and SSA judges have a very high case load and often work long hours to help you get a decision.

Another reason for long delays is because of the detailed approach that the DDS examiner uses to evaluate each claim. The examiner gathers all of the claimant’s medical records from the medical sources provided. If medical information is not current or if the medical records that are received do not address the medical conditions thoroughly, additional medical exams may be required. Each case must be thoroughly evaluated.

Every claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is different. Some claims involving a very severe disability may be approved in the initial application phase and benefits can be received very quickly. Most Social Security Disability applications are denied and may take many months and sometimes years before the claim is eventually approved and benefits are received.

Social Security Disability claims that are denied in the initial application and reconsideration phase are often approved in a Social Security Disability hearing. National figures show that people with an attorney are more likely to be awarded benefits. If you have been denied Social Security benefits or if you are scheduled for a Social Security Disability hearing for your case, contact us at Jorgensen Law today and schedule a free consultation.

Contact Jorgensen Law

To contact our San Diego, Los Angeles or Riverside, California law office for a free consultation, call 1-888-855-2948, or contact us by e-mail.

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