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Is winning disability quickly from Social Security really possible?

Is winning Social Security Disability benefits quickly from the Social Security Administration really possible? Yes, for some people the process can take as little as thirty-days. Claimants who have a condition which will likely result in death or meets one of the Social Security Impairment Listings have the highest chance of having their Social Security Disability benefits approved at the application level.

The Social Security Administration has created the Impairment Listings to identify 14 areas of disability. Claimants, who have a disability that equals a listing or is found to be as severe as a listing, may receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance immediately based on that medical conclusion alone. Claimants who do not have a condition which meets or equals a listing will have their Social Security Disability case reviewed more extensively by the disability examiner.

Unfortunately, most Social Security Disability cases do not meet or equal a listing and the examiner must consider other factors such as whether or not the claimant can perform their old job or any other job given their age,  education, work experience and residual functional capacity (RFC). Medical vocational guidelines have been created by the Social Security Administration and the medical examiner can use these guidelines to help make their decision.

So why does it takes so long to win Social Security Disability benefits? Claimants whose condition is not listed in the SSA Impairment Listing and do not meet the medical vocational guidelines will have their claim denied. Claimants who wish to pursue Social Security Disability benefits must appeal the denial within 60 days from the date of the denial letter. The first step in Social Security Disability appeal’s denial process is the reconsideration phase.

Reconsiderations are approved 20% of the time and may take 30 to 60 days to process. Unfortunately, the 80% of claimants who are denied Social Security Disability benefits at the reconsideration level will have to appeal their denial and request a Social Security Disability hearing. The time frame to get a hearing date will vary depending on where a claimant lives. In some parts of the country it may take a few months while in other locations it could take one to two years to get a hearing date with an Administrative Law Judge.

You have waited for the initial decision, fought through the reconsideration and presented a solid case before the Administrative Law Judge at your Social Security Disability Hearing. The wait is over right? Unfortunately, it may take several more months for the Administrative Law Judge to submit their decision for the claimant’s case.

The good news for most claimants who pursue their claim and appear before the Administrative Law Judge is they have a good chance of receiving Social Security Disability benefits, especially if they are represented by competent legal counsel. Unlike the medical examiner who relies on the medical records, the List of Impairments and a vocational grid to make their decision of disability, the Administrative Law Judge can make a subjective decision after meeting with the claimant, asking the claimant questions about their limitations and conditions and studying their medical records.

Is it possible to win Social Security Disability benefits quickly? For the majority of claimants the answer is no. But with a little persistence, a great Social Security Disability lawyer and strong medical evidence most claimants do eventually get the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve.