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Applied for disability, where's my disability check?

Many disability applicants mistakenly believe they can complete their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application and thirty days later the disability check will be in their mailbox or the disability check will be deposited in their checking account.

Unfortunately, winning disability benefits and receiving a disability check is a difficult, time-consuming and discouraging process. Claimants who apply for SSDI are denied up to 70% of the time, which means they could spend months fighting to get their disability check. Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “Where’s my disability check?” And the answer is- you may end up waiting months or years for your disability check, if you receive it at all.

Why does it take so long to get my disability check?


Millions of workers apply for disability benefits each year. That’s right- millions. And only a fraction of those applicants are approved the first time they apply. If you applied for SSDI disability and you were denied, it’s time to take a long, hard look at your case, including the reason the SSA denied your claim.

The first question is whether or not you are disabled according to the SSA. The denial letter should state exactly why you were denied. Reasons can include the SSA believes you can perform other work, your condition will not last 12 continuous months, your condition is not severe, you are working too much, or you do not have enough work credits to be considered insured for SSDI.

Review your denial. Some denials can be appealed; others cannot. For instance, if you do not have enough work credits you will continue to be denied unless you go back to work and generate more work credits. If the SSA claims your condition is not severe, but you believe it is, you will need to gather more evidence that your condition is severe before you appeal your denial or apply again.

Why does the appeal take so long?


Assuming you were able to appeal your denial, the appeal process can also take months. The SSA suggests that an appeal can take 30 to 90 days at the first appeal stage. This may be true, but in some parts of the country the SSA is severely understaffed and it could take longer.

If you are at the administrative hearing level the lack of judges and the lengthy backlog of cases could result in months of waiting.

Steps to speed up your disability case and get your disability check


It’s not all bad news. There are some things you can do to ensure your case will process as quickly as possible. First, make sure you meet the basic requirements to qualify for SSDI. If you do not, there is no reason to apply because you will be denied. Next, make sure you provide accurate information to the SSA. Next, make sure you get great medical care and that your medical records clearly state a diagnosis, prognosis and reasons you cannot work. Finally, if the SSA requests information from you, return their calls and provide information as quickly as possible.