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SSDI application sent to SSA why have I not heard them?

Recently on our Social Security Disability forum a user asked, “Why have I not heard from the SSA? I sent my SSDI application to them months ago. Why are they ignoring me?” According to the Social Security Administration, there were 2,640,100 disability applications submitted in 2013. This means there are millions of SSI and SSDI applications which must be reviewed and analyzed. Given the understaffing and the common inefficiency of the Federal Government it’s not surprising that it can take months to review a SSDI application.


Why hasn’t the SSA contacted me about my SSDI application?


 

The first step in the SSA disability process is to review the SSDI application and determine if the claimant meets the nonmedical requirements for SSI or SSDI benefits. Although there are millions of disability applications submitted to the SSA each year, many of them do not meet the basic requirements.

For instance, workers who do not have enough work credits for SSDI, who are working and making too much money when they apply for benefits, or those whose condition is not expected to last for at least 12 continuous months will be not be considered disabled and will automatically be denied SSDI benefits.

Other requirements which are verified by the Social Security representatives in the field offices include age, employment, marital status, and Social Security coverage information.

Disability Determination made by DDS


 

The second step in the SSA disability process is to forward the claimant’s SSDI application to the disability determination services office or DDS. The DDS will try to obtain evidence from the claimant's own medical sources. If the available medical information is insufficient and a disability determination cannot be made, the DDS will schedule a consultative examination (CE) for the claimant to obtain additional information. After the consultative evaluation the trained staff at the DDS will make the initial disability determination.

Unfortunately, it can take weeks or months for the DDS to obtain sufficient medical information from a claimant’s treating doctors. In fact, this is one of the most time-consuming steps in the disability process.

Appealing a Disability Denial


 

Unfortunately, after waiting months to hear from the SSA it is likely your SSDI application will be denied. In fact, each year hundreds of thousands of disability applications are denied.

If you receive a disability denial you have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to file your appeal. Consider, time is moving forward; not only have you waited months to hear whether or not you are approved for SSDI benefits, it’s likely you will ultimately be denied and have to wait months longer as your application moves through the disability appeals process.

SSDI application and the appeal


 

The first step in the appeal process for SSDI benefits is the reconsideration. This can take up to 90 days and will most likely result in a second denial. After the first denial you may file a second appeal and request a hearing. It can take up to a year to have your hearing scheduled.

The bottom line is the SSA is not ignoring you. They simply are overwhelmed by the number of SSDI applications which are submitted each year for their review. Unfortunately, most applications are also denied, which means you could wait even longer to hear from the SSA as your application is waiting to be reviewed on appeal.
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