application for disability benefits--how long does it take?

** Originally posted by airway **

I first applied for disability in January 2006. Within about 2-3 months I was noified that I was declined. I chose not to appeal at the time.

This past September (2008) I reapplied for benefits and still have not received a decision. I did some research on the social securuty web site and read over the letters I have received. The web site told me a decision would be made within 120 days which according to my calculations has passed. I've tried checking my application status online and it just tells me it's still in process.

I saw my doctor last week, and I told him I had not received a decision yet. He said something about it taking 2 years! :eek:

Does anyone have any idea on how long this actually takes?

Report post

17 replies. Join the discussion

** Originally posted by szorzi **

It varies from state to state, as does the approval rate. I was approved on the first try, without a lawyer, within a couple of months. This is in Louisiana. I hear that some states have a backlog of applications of several years. Did you initially apply in person? I think it helps to go in person to your local SS office to initiate the process. Also, call your local SS ofice and ask them to check the status of your case for you. Tell them it has been more than 120 days.

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

Did you initially apply in person? I think it helps to go in person to your local SS office to initiate the process. Also, call your local SS ofice and ask them to check the status of your case for you. Tell them it has been more than 120 days.

Actually I did the initial part online. Then I ended up doing a telephone interview and filling out a ton of paperwork they sent in the mail. I'll look in my file today for the name and number of the person responsible for my case, and see what I can find out.

Thanks for your reply.

Report post

** Originally posted by DEBAK **

I did my entire process on line and was approved the first time. If they decline you again please contact me as I have several tips on how to document on the application in terrms that are measureable that they will look for. Did you have an evaluation exam by a social security Dr.? keep us posted. Deb

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

Thanks Deb.

I called the person in charge of my claim this morning and left a voice mail. Hopefully he will call me soon to let me know of this status.

I did not speak to a specific SS doctor. My personal doctor has received paperwork to fill out, and he feels I should be receiving the benefits. The only time I spoke to someone directly was when SS called me to do a telephone interview.

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

According to the SSA.gov web site the process takes 3-5 months. Yesterday I visited my congressman's web site and he has a link for those needing help with disability applications. I filled out the necessary paperwork and faxed it to his office. I figured it was appropriate since 5 months have passed since I last applied. I last received any communication from SS on October 3, 2008.

Will let you know if/when I hear from SS or my congressman's offfice.

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

UPDATE: Yesterday I received a letter from my congressman letting me know he received my request for help. He is contacting the Social Security Administration about my application and will let me know when he has more informaton.

Report post

** Originally posted by rosc2112 **

Took 3 yrs to get an appeal decision, and then 6 more months to finally get my back pay ;<

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

Took 3 yrs to get an appeal decision, and then 6 more months to finally get my back pay ;<

Yikes!! I don't know if this makes any difference but this isn't an appeal. Although it's my second time applying, I did not appeal when I was denied in 2006. I submitted a new application this past September.

UPDATE: It's been a month since I received the letter from my congressman, so I called his office this morning to see if there was anything they could tell me. They expect it will be another month or maybe longer before Social Security responds to their request for information.

I'm just confused by the whole process because initially I was told a decision would be made within 5 months. Makes me wonder if my application is even still out there. :confused:

Report post

** Originally posted by wildflowerAnn **

Can you go in to the SSA office and take a number? Its crowded, and you may have to wait for an hour or so, but then somebody could pull up your records on the computer and at least tell you what is going on??? Try a different Congressman's office. Perhaps a Senator's office. Your rep's staff isn't doing you any favors.

Report post

** Originally posted by twigrat **

Hi there,

I don't remember receiving anything telling me that my application was accepted, just an award letter, but my memory isn't great.

I applied for SS disability in May of 2005 and began receiving SSI payments 2 months later in July. Those continued until November, as I began receiving SSA payments in December 2005.

I don't know what things speed up the process, but some things that may have helped move things along so quickly for me might have been:
• the fact that I lived in a "small" town in California and the Social Security office wasn't extremely busy,
• I included doctors letters (all stating that they recommend that I go on disability)
• I included as x-ray reports (because of my psoriatic arthritis),
• I included a letter from the NPF Advocacy Coordinator along with supporting information describing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis,
• and I included leaflets from all of the prescriptions I had been taking or was presently taking.

I submitted the signed originals of all of the above documents and kept copies for myself.

Perhaps giving them the most information possible that supports your case will give them reason to approve you more quickly? Although I'm not sure if anything you submit will make any difference at this pace.

Hope you get a decision soon!

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

Try a different Congressman's office. Perhaps a Senator's office. Your rep's staff isn't doing you any favors.

I only have one congressman (federal, House member). The reason I chose him over one of my two senators is because senators cover the entire state. My congressman has constituents only in my district. I figured I'd get a better response from someone with a smaller group. Perhaps that isn't going to be the case.

I submitted a TON of information with my application (medical records, physician's recommendation, etc). Not sure I could have given them much more unless I put myself in the package too.

I'm getting the impression here that my case is unusual and it typically doesn't take this long. :confused:

Report post

** Originally posted by szorzi **

This AP article from yesterday discusses the backlog of SSDI appeals.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iJipinq5JSKTfN5Q_3OlWbY5B 48AD979RK085

Report post

** Originally posted by rosc2112 **

SSA's site has some "news" too, about the backlogs and how they're expediting things. It's best to supply enough documentation up front, but even that's no guarantee of a speedy decision in your favor.

If you want to check the status of your claim, just call SSA's 800 number and ask, they should be able to tell you where your claim is sitting at the moment (likely at the local adjudicator's office waiting for more documentation.)

BTW, there's another news article posted on the Globe's site, saying we will all be getting another $250 bonus from SSA :)

http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/managingyourmoney/archives/2 009/04/social_security_3.html

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

Thank you for the news articles. Very informative!

Report post

** Originally posted by airway **

Yesterday I received a letter from my congressman including a letter he received from the state disability determination bureau. The letter he received was to inform him that my application was denied yet again. I don't understand why they didn't contact me. :confused: The letter doesn't give any explainaton for the denial, so I'm not sure what to think. Obviously I am very disappointed and frustrated that this is my second denial.

Report post

** Originally posted by wildflowerAnn **

Sorry Airway. Perhaps it is time to contact Binder & Binder for the final appeal stages. A lawyer might be able to get them to explain the denial.

Report post

** Originally posted by Momelie **

I agree with Ann, its time for an attorney to step in. I went with a local attorney, rather than a national firm - in fact, mine had been a SS atty prior to moving to private practice.

My claim began in September of 06, and in February of 09 had my hearing with the judge. In April I got my favorable decision, and backpay, this month I've received my medicare card and first monthly check.

Good luck, and I hope you have good results!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support the National Psoriasis Foundation

Help the National Psoriasis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Psoriasis Foundation

Discussion topics

Additional resources

Community leaders