This delay in processing an initial application occurs primarily for two reasons. First, the Social Security office sends your case to a state disability agency. This agency is responsible for making a medical evaluation for the SSA, and they work to gather medical records and information. Often, lengthy waits in the transmittal of these records contribute to delays in the processing of your application. Second, many millions of American apply for disability every year, so the Social Security Administration is swamped with claims.
If your initial application is approved for benefits, congratulations! You are in a slim minority. On average, only 25-30% of initial applications are approved. This is mainly because many applicants’ disabilities don’t meet the disability requirements or it does not appear that their disability will prevent them from holding a full-time job for a year or longer.
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If your application is denied, take heart! You are not alone, and you have 60 days to file an appeal. In most states that is known as a Request for Reconsideration. Once you’ve appealed, unfortunately there is more waiting. Because new medical records and information need to be gathered, it can take around six months to get a reconsideration decision.
If your first appeal is denied, you have another important opportunity to appeal this decision, within 60 days. This is called a Request for Hearing. However, the wait time to have a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge is roughly a year or longer. This is a result of the overwhelming amount of appeals and a limited number of hearing judges.
The SSD application process can be a lengthy and complex ordeal, and it is very helpful to have an experienced disability attorney on your side. At Berger and Green, we have been helping our clients get the disability benefits they deserve for over three decades. Give us a call today for a free consultation: 1-800-999-2626.