SSDI is my case still active?
How do I know if the SSA is still working on my SSDI case?
Its not unusual for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants to wait weeks or months to find out if they have been approved for disability benefits. If you have to appeal a SSDI denial and you are waiting for an administrative hearing you could wait as long as a year in some parts of the country and waiting this long without any word on the status of your case may leave you wondering if your case is still active.
How do you know if your case is active?
If you have hired a disability lawyer you should be getting periodic updates about the progress of your SSDI case. Unfortunately, counter to what many applicants think, a disability lawyer doesnt generally have the ability to speed up your case when you are waiting for certain actions.
For instance, if you are waiting for a hearing a lawyer is not going to be allowed to push your case in front of the thousands of applicants who are waiting for a hearing. But they should be getting updates from the SSA and should notify you as soon as your hearing is scheduled. (There is a process to request an on the record review and skip the hearing which could speed up the process. You can talk to your lawyer about this option.)
What if you dont have a disability lawyer?
If you have chosen not to hire a lawyer it is up to you to stay on top of your case. This means that every few weeks you can call the SSA and ask them the status of your case and if there is anything you can do to expedite the processing of your case. You can also go to their website at www.ssa.gov and click on the check application status at the right side of the screen for more information about your case.
What if it has been months after I applied and still no word about my SSDI case?
Because the SSA receives over 3 million applications for disability benefits each year it is likely it could take months to hear from them after you submit your application, but there is a point when you should have heard from them.
My suggestion is to submit your application online and periodically check the status of your case. If you send anything to the SSA you can should send it certified mail, after making copies of it, to make sure they received your information.
If you have submitted your application and its been one year or two years ago and you never heard anything than most likely they received it and tried to contact you and failed (thus closing your case), or they never received your application.
Whats the bottom line?
With 3 million applications the SSA is not going to hold your hand through the disability process. If you are too sick to focus on making sure your application makes it through the disability process you might want to consider hiring a lawyer. The good news is they will only charge you if you win your case. If you lose they will not receive any payment.
What if you have time to learn the system and fight for benefits on your own? Great, many claimants win SSDI without legal help.