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SSA - What do I do while I wait for SSI or SSDI decision?

If you have been waiting weeks, months or years for your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits decision you may be wondering if there things you should be doing why you wait. Recently on our forum we had a forum user ask, “What do I do while I wait for my disability decision?”

I love this question for two reasons. First, this means this applicant is not sitting back waiting for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to do all the work, and second, they know there are things they can do that can possible expedite their disability case.



Considering that the SSA receives millions, yes, millions of SSDI and SSI applications each year it makes sense that you might need to take a proactive approach to ensuring your application is processed in a timely manner. Here are some simple things you can do to help you disability case:

1.       Continue to see your doctor.


This seems simple enough but if you are not working there is a good chance you may not have health insurance. If at all possible, continue to see your doctor, get up to date medical records, and make sure if there are substantial changes in your medical condition or if you have been diagnosed with a new condition, which limits your ability to work, this information is sent to the SSA so they can include it in their SSDI or SSI disability evaluation.

2.       Periodically contact the SSA to check on the status of your case.


Checking on the status of your case does not mean call every week and hassle the SSA. They are trying to process millions of applications and you do not want to annoy anyone but it may make sense to contact them every once in a while and make sure they have all the information they need. Did they get the medical records from your doctors? Did they send you a form to complete that you did not receive? Ask general questions and make sure they are working on your case.

3.       Make sure they receive your medical records.


One of the biggest hurdles to making a disability decision is the SSA getting the medical records they need to decide your case. What does this mean? It means if you have recent medical records, copy them and give them to the SSA. It means if you can get your medical records quickly at little to no cost and give them to the SSA it could eliminate weeks of waiting for you. Do you have to do this? Absolutely not, but it can reduce your wait.

4.       Answer all queries quickly and go to the consultative examination if required to go.


Another big time kill is the SSA waiting for claimants to send information back to them. If the SSA sends you forms to fill out you can expedite your case by filling them out accurately and immediately and getting them back to the SSA. Do not miss appointments. If you are scheduled to see the consultative examiner make sure you go to the appointment. If you have to reschedule, call the SSA immediately and ask for a new date.

By doing the right things and not relying exclusively on the SSA you can substantially lower the amount of time you will have to wait for a disability decision.
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