The wait for Social Security disability benefits is, unfortunately, a long one which is why it is helpful for disabled individuals to be prepared to submit a thorough application and to also be prepared for the appeals process if necessary. Currently, greater than 1 million applicants are waiting for a hearing concerning their Social Security disability (SSD) application which can take up to 2 years to receive.

Applicants waiting for a hearing have already had their initial application for benefits denied and, depending on the state, the hearing may be the second level of appeal. Most applications for disability are initially denied. Applicants improve their chances of obtaining benefits through the appeals process which has 4 levels. Approximately 10.5 million disabled individuals currently receive disability payments. The average benefit is $1,037 a month.

Unfortunately, disabled applicants may pass away during their wait for benefits which is why it is helpful for disabled individuals to understand the application and appeals processes to facilitate as efficient an application process as possible. In general, to qualify for SSD benefits, disabled individuals must suffer from a mental or physical medical content that prevents them from working and that is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death.

The Social Security Administration is working to expedite wait times despite constraints, however, it remains the best option possible for disabled individuals to fully understand how to present a strong and organized application with complete medical records. Having trained guidance to help navigate the process to obtain badly-needed benefits can also be helpful as disabled individuals seek the resources available to them through the Social Security Administration.

Source: Denver Post, “Social Security disability backlog tops 1 million; thousands die on waitlist,” Stephen Ohlemacher, Sept.18, 2017