We get asked about wait times often when it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) decisions—and we always tell clients that the time they may have to wait depends on a number of factors, so there’s really no clear-cut waiting period.
Among the items that can affect an SSDI decision are the stage you are at in the process (application or appeal), which state you live in, how quickly you can produce medical records and whether your case is expedited due to the type of disability you have.
This is why it is so incredibly important to seek representation if you are disabled. Wait times, at the hearing level, can take anywhere from six months to over a year, depending upon a number of factors.
Keep in mind, if you are suffering from a catastrophic disability, you may be eligible for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, which expedites benefit decisions for a limited amount of conditions.
Recently, WIVB-TV, of Buffalo, New York, had an interesting story about a woman who had to wait for four years before receiving SSDI. The woman reportedly stopped working in December 2010 due to neck and back injuries—she filed for SSDI in July 2011 and an administrative law judge (ALJ) heard her case in February 2013.
However, according to WIVB, processing times in the Buffalo Office of Disability Adjudication and Review were among the longest in the country, and her judge was at the bottom of the sitting ALJs in her county, forcing her to wait.
Fortunately, the woman was approved for benefits and awarded them retroactive dating back to March 2012, allowing her to receive a lump sum payment of more than two years of funds that included two cost-of-living adjustments.
What Should I Do If My SSDI Case Is taking a Long Time to Process?
Again, if you are experiencing prolonged wait times, call us immediately. We will review your case and determine if there is a course of action that can be taken to speed up your claim. Often, as we will blog about later this week, errors on applications or appeals paperwork result in delays.
Keep in mind, our attorneys collect contingency fees based on whether or not you win your case. For more information, contact us today.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers
Troutman Touts: Oklahoma’s Disability Determination Division (DDD) handles initial applications for SSDI benefits.