Sometimes the process of applying for disability benefits seem like it takes forever. Waiting for disability benefits is hard when you are already suffering every day. So why does it take so long? There is a lot that goes into processing your application. The Social Security Administration is dedicated to preventing fraud in disability benefits. They want to make sure that everyone who gets disability benefits truly needs them. This means that they have to look over your application, discuss it in a committee, and determine if they need more information. The more you include in your initial application the less time they’ll likely take. This is because they probably won’t have to request more information. They could ask you for another doctors examination if the first medical statement didn’t give them the information they need or they might ask for more testimonials from the people who you work or live with. This initial process usually takes about three months. This is also because they have so many applications to get through.
If you are denied initially, you will have to wait even longer. You will obviously want to appeal the decision, which you have 60 days to do. Then you’ll be scheduled a court date and you’ll want to collect more evidence supporting your case. All of this takes time. After you appeal they need some more time to make another decision.
All in all, the whole process can take several years if you get denied. There are many stages of the Social Security Disability Benefits process and if you’re not careful you’ll end up waiting for much longer than you need to.
The best way to counter the wait is to stay as organized as possible throughout the process and make sure all of your documentation is comprehensive and complete.
Another way to help is to get representation. Having a lawyer will probably get you approved the first time, and having one during the appeal process with put your mind at ease.
For more information about the appeal process, and generally how long everything takes, click here.