When people experience a severe, disabling health condition, they wait an average of 7.6 months before applying for benefits, according to the Social Security Administration. But waiting only makes the process harder.
Across the U.S., an estimated nearly 600,000 people are waiting at the initial application level for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, where processing an application typically takes 4-6 months.
If denied (which two-thirds of initial applicants are, even with 27% of them having representation), an appeal to the Reconsideration can take an additional 3-5 months. Then, if an individual is denied a second time, they’ll need to request a hearing with an administrative law judge. Right now, the average wait time for these hearings is 408 days, but this wait time has approached 700 days and longer in some states in the past.
The longer a former worker waits to apply for benefits – delays the possibility of accessing vital monthly income. And the longer individuals must wait, the worse off individuals may become, falling into greater debt, experiencing foreclosure, or racking up huge medical expenses while being unable to work.
Apply as soon as you can, and use the help of an expert representative like Allsup when you do. That’s our first bit of advice.
Our next tip is to use the valuable benefits available through the SSDI program to return to work, when you are medically able, the subject of our next post.
Customers experience a 97% approval rate if they complete the process with Allsup. Find more information about how to apply for disability benefits or returning to work with a disability, visit TrueHelp.com.