Medical expenses and unpaid bills will start piling up as soon as your serious medical condition stops you from working. Whether you get hurt in a car crash, suffer a stroke or get diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a debilitating medical condition will drastically alter your financial circumstances.
Without income from employment, you need to find another way to cover your medical expenses, pay your rent or mortgage and buy your groceries. Thankfully, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits serve as a crucial safety net for those who have worked jobs but are no longer able to because of their health.
While SSDI can help you, you have to qualify for it first. A huge number of applicants wind up getting denied for benefits and then have to appeal. How long does the appeals process take?
You may have to wait almost a year for a hearing
The kind of appeal that you require will determine how long you have to wait. Some people get approved for benefits after they request a re-evaluation of their initial application. Many others will need to wait for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge to get their benefits.
It will take months for you to have such a hearing. Depending on which Social Security Administration (SSA) office handles your case, you’ll have to wait between eight and nine months on average for a hearing. That is lower than the wait in other states, although it may mean going the better part of a year without the support and resources you need.
The SSA will backdate benefits when they approve you
If there is any good news about needing to wait to get your benefits, it is that you can receive payments going back to either the date of your application or when you first qualified after your application. Making alternative financial arrangements while you plan for your hearing may be necessary, but pushing for benefits with an appeal is likely in your best interest.
No one will get benefits if they don’t ask for them and fight back against an unfair denial. Understanding how the appeals process works will help you move forward after an initial denial of your SSDI benefits.