Processing SSDI disability how long will it take?Unfortunately, unlike Social Security retirement benefits, receiving SSDI disability is not a guarantee. In fact, many claimants apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and are denied; others wait months or years to receive their SSDI disability benefits. Recently on our forum a user asked, How long will I have to wait to get my SSDI disability payments?
You may never get your SSDI disability
Up to 70% of disability applicants have their SSDI disability benefit denied the first time they apply. While many of these applicants will either reapply again or challenge their denial through an appeal and eventually win SSDI disability benefits, a large percentage of applicants will never be approved for SSDI disability benefits.
Denials can occur for a variety of reasons: the applicant lacked sufficient work credits to be considered insured, their condition was not expected to last 12 continuous months, they were working too much at the time they applied to qualify for SSDI disability benefits, or their condition was not considered serious. Many of these SSDI disability denials can be challenged; others cannot.
Receiving SSDI disability benefits could take months
Another consideration if you have been approved for SSDI disability is how long you might have to wait for benefits. There are millions of SSDI disability applicants each year, and it takes the SSA weeks and months to wade through and review each case. Add the fact that the SSA is severely understaffed and it is a recipe for disaster.
Unfortunately, even if you have a great SSDI disability case and you are approved at the application level, it could still take months to receive benefits. For instance, the SSA estimates it could take up to 90 days to review your case. Add in another month or two to process you payment and youre already up to four months of potential wait time. The good news is you will be paid back pay for the wait.
Challenging SSDI disability denials could take months
What if you are not approved immediately for SSDI disability but you have a good case on appeal? Expect to wait even longer for benefits. If you are denied at the application level you can appeal your case through a reconsideration but that can add 90 additional days. If you are denied at the reconsideration level you can appeal your denial through an Administrative Hearing, but that can add up to 2 years onto your SSDI disability case as you wait months and months to get a disability hearing.
What do I do while I wait for SSDI disability benefits?
What do you do while you wait to be approved for SSDI disability benefits is the toughest question we get asked by claimants. Unfortunately, there is no good answer. Some claimants attempt to go back to work, but if you are able to work you shouldnt be applying for benefits. Working while you apply will also jeopardize your case.
Other claimants have saved money and prepared for their eventual unemployment; others rely on money from their spouse, friends, or family. Others simply live off credit cards and sell possessions and try to stay afloat until their SSDI disability check arrives.