One thing you can count on when applying for Social Security disability benefits is hearing stories from friends and relatives about how incredibly long you must wait before receiving benefits. The truth is that it can take quite a while to go through the application review process before being approved for benefits, but there are some things you should know that may shorten how long it takes to be approved and to receive benefits.
Things To Know About Your Social Security Disability
You can reduce delays in the time it takes to process your application for SSD by avoiding mistakes and omissions when completing your application for benefits. The following are some of the common causes of processing delays:
- Failing to completely fill out the application: Missing or inaccurate information on your application will delay its processing or result in a denial of the claim. Gather the information you need to complete the application before starting the process, so you will have it on hand and ready.
- Make sure you have medical records to support your claim: You must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. Make certain that your medical records are complete and current.
- Check your work records: If applying for Social Security disability benefits through the Social Security disability insurance program, your work records must establish that you worked long enough at employment or self-employment to qualify for benefits.
Get help when applying for benefits from an experienced Social Security disability attorney. An attorney knows the rules and procedures that must be followed to avoid unfavorable outcomes.
SSD Benefit Waiting Periods
A delay may occur from when Social Security disability is approved until you receive the first payment because you must be disabled for at least five months. Depending on how long after becoming disabled you apply for benefits, and how long it takes for your application to be processed and approved, the five-month waiting period may not be a factor that delays your benefits from starting.
Expediting Payments While Waiting For SSD Approval
You may be able to get a Social Security disability while waiting for approval of your application through the SSI program to be approved. The following are four situations that may allow you to receive expedited financial assistance:
- Presumptive blindness and presumptive disability payments: If Social Security determines that the medical evidence shows that your condition is severe and there is a likelihood that your claim will be approved, it may authorize payments for as long as six months. Total blindness with no light perception, amputation of the leg at the hip, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other medical conditions may qualify an adult or child for presumptive payments.
- Emergency Advance Payment: A financial emergency may allow you to receive a one-time advance provided you are entitled to SSI benefits that have been delayed or not received. An emergency advance must be paid back when your SSD payments resume.
- Immediate payment: If you are a new applicant or already get SSI and benefits that have been delayed or not received, you may receive a one-time payment of up to $999. There must be a financial emergency, which means you do not have money to pay for food, shelter, medical care, or clothing.
- Expedited reinstatement: If your benefits ended because you had income from a job, you have five years to request expedited reinstatement of benefits. You must show that you are no longer working, cannot do a substantial gainful activity because of the impairments for which you had been approved to receive benefits. A new application is not required for expedited reinstatement.
Talk to an experienced Social Security disability lawyer to find out more about the guidelines and procedures for each program.
Compassionate Allowances Program
If you have a medical condition that Social Security identifies as clearly meeting the standard for a disability as set by federal regulations, the Compassionate Allowances program can reduce how long it takes for you to get a Social Security disability. Certain forms of cancer, brain disorders in adults, some types of rare disorders that affect children, and other types of medical conditions may qualify for expedited approval. Compassionate Allowance may be available, depending on your medical condition, for pending applications through both SSDI and SSI programs.
Expedited processing for terminal illnesses
You may qualify to have the processing of your claim for SSD benefits expedited if you have an untreatable medical condition that is expected to result in death. When it identifies such a claim, Social Security expedites the processing of it to reduce waiting time for benefits.
Help Available From A Disability Attorney
An experienced disability lawyer from Scully Disability Law possesses insight into methods to reduce the time it takes to get Social Security disability benefits. They offer assistance with initial applications and appeals as your staunch advocate aggressively fighting for you.