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Benefits:The Time It Takes
Posted in: Benefits on August 19th, 2011

disability benefits delayWhen applying for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits, the Social Security Administration estimates that the initial benefits application takes about 90 to 120 days to complete, but in reality the business of initially filing for benefits can take up to eight months.  If you’re in the appeals process, it can take between 90 days to over a year to get to a hearing, depending on the caseloads in your particular state of application.

Hurry Up and Wait

During the initial part of the application, the part that takes up the most time is providing proof of medical history.  It can take months to get medical treatment sources to be able to provide the paper documentation that the Social Security Administration needs in order to make a final decision on a hearing.  Part of the problem is that many applicants for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income have spotty medical records – since applying for disability benefits requires that you have minimal resources.

The Social Security Administration has provided a timetable of how many days it takes to get approved for benefits on average:

  • Initial Application: 101 days
  • Reconsideration: [no data]
  • Hearing: 491 days
  • Appeals Council: 261 days
  • Federal District Court: [no data]

Of course, these are averages and it may take you more or less time to get through the process depending on where you live and what your disability is.  The states where it takes the most time to get approved are Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, the District of Columbia (D.C.) and Alabama.  If you’re applying in these states, brace yourself for a very long wait!

 

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