What is the time frame for filing for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Unfortunately, a claim for Social Security Disability benefits can often take a very long time to be resolved.  As Social Security Disability attorneys, our goal is always to have your claim adjudicated in a favorable manner as quickly as possible.  Some claims are resolved very quickly and others require several appeals before the benefits are granted. 

The first stage is to file the initial application.  Once the application is filed, it generally takes Social Security 6-7 months to issue a decision.  During this time, Social Security forwards your claim to Disability Determination Services.  Disability Determination Services gathers and evaluates your medical records.   If more information is needed, Disability Determination Services will schedule a consultative exam at their expense for you.  Then an examiner will review all of the information and issue a decision on your case.  Having an experienced Social Security disability lawyer assisting you at this level is extremely valuable.  Our office can help you navigate through this stage by filing your application, collecting medical records and treating source statements, and writing legal arguments on your behalf. Insuring that all evidence is presented and having a Social Security attorney provide advocacy on your behalf at this level increases the likelihood of a favorable decision. 

If your claim is denied, the next stage is reconsideration level.  This process is essentially the same as the initial stage.  Social Security and Disability Determination Services will review the information in your claim to determine whether or not a different decision should be made.  This process takes 6-7 months to complete.  During this time, your Social Security lawyer  will continue to assist you by developing your claim by presenting the best possible evidence.  We will also ensure that your claim stays “on track” by regularly checking on the status of your claim.

If your claim is denied at reconsideration, the next stage is to Request a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.  For most people, this is the final stage of the process.  At this time it takes approximately 11-13 months from the date of request to be scheduled for a hearing.  While we wait for a hearing, your Social Security lawyers will continue to advocate on your behalf.  We will continue to obtain medical records and treating source statements.  Your Social Security lawyer will meet with you before your hearing to prepare you for the process.  We will represent you at your hearing and guide you through the process.

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