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How long does the SSDI application process take?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2019 | Social Security Disability |


Whether you have recently applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or you are just getting started with the process, you may be waiting awhile before finding out if your application has been approved. According to the Social Security Administration, more than 986,000 cases are waiting for a decision, and the average wait time is 600 days. Yet, while people are waiting to see if their applications are accepted, many are unable to work, pay their bills and make ends meet. 

In some cases, applicants have died while waiting for their SSDI benefits. Not only did their medical condition worsen, but they may not have had the funds to provide the quality of life they were entitled to. If they had received SSDI benefits earlier, some wonder if it may have prolonged their life.

In 2016 alone, over 2.3 million SSDI applications were turned into the SSA, but the office does not have the means to process this number of applicants. The reduced amount of time judges have to spend on each case may result in wrongful denial of applications. Once applicants receive a denial, they must appeal the decision which can take even longer.

The short-staffed SSA simply does not employ enough judges to get through the cases in a timely manner. For each application, the judge must review the situation, access the applicant’s medical records, look at levels of pain and evaluate a list of medications. The judge may need to contact physicians for more information or for further documentation which can prolong the wait time.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.