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Attorney Shawn Taylor

3 tips to reduce wait time for Social Security disability benefits

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Social Security Disability |

30,000 disability claimants died while waiting for the benefits. This sobering number represents individuals who were either waiting for an initial decision, reconsideration, or hearing regarding their disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that in addition to the number noted above there were, on average, over 1.6 million claimants awaiting a decision throughout 2023.

Although the agency acknowledges they need to do better, wait times remain long. The SSA estimates the current wait time for a disability claim at eight months. Those awaiting the result of a reconsideration wait an additional seven months while a hearing can take more than a year.

Each option is important as it provides an opportunity for a claimant to get the benefits they deserve. But it is important to note that there are steps claimants can take to reduce their wait time. Three that apply for most applicants include the following.

#1: Review the requirements.

Before applying, check the requirements. The SSA defines disability as an inability to engage in substantial gainful activity due to a medical condition that medical professionals expect to last at least one year or result in death. Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements to determine if your condition qualifies.

#2: Get your paperwork in order.

The SSA requires detailed documentation to process your claim. This includes medical records, a work history report, and personal identification. Ensure all paperwork is complete, accurate, and up-to-date to prevent delays.

Key steps for a strong application can include:

  • Collect comprehensive medical evidence: Include all relevant medical records, doctor’s notes, and test results that support your disability claim.
  • Detail your work history: Gather a thorough work history, including job duties and reasons why you can no longer perform this work due to your disability.

The process can be complicated, but you do not have to go through it alone. Consider consulting a disability lawyer. These professionals understand the legal nuances of SSD claims and can offer valuable advice on strengthening your application. They can also represent you in the event of an appeal, significantly increasing your chances of success.

#3: Stay proactive and patient.

As noted above, the SSD benefits application process can be lengthy, often taking several months. Regularly check the status of your application and respond promptly to any requests from the SSA for additional information.

Securing SSD benefits requires attention to detail. By understanding eligibility, preparing all necessary paperwork, and remaining proactive, you can better ensure quicker processing and approval. Remember, patience and attention to detail are your allies in navigating the path to disability benefits.