How Long Does It Take To Receive My Initial Disability Decision?

After filing your application, you generally receive your initial decision between one and four months

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Your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits, whether filing for SSDI or SSI, is completed online via Social Security’s website. Once you have submitted the application, it can take up to 30 days for Social Security to acknowledge and process your information. Keep in mind, this is a general time frame. As with each part of the disability process, Social Security is not confined to time limits. They have no deadlines.

Application Summary

Once they have processed your application, your local Social Security office will send you a summary of the information you submitted online in order to verify your application. You need to correct and initial (if necessary), sign and return the application summary to Social Security before they can move forward. Therefore, quick compliance helps speed up the process.

Disability Determination Services

Once the application summary is returned, your claim will be assigned to a Disability Determination Services (DDS) examiner. This is who will make your initial decision based on your medical records, questionnaires they may send you, and/or consultative examinations (CEs) they schedule. Depending on how quickly they receive your medical records and questionnaires will affect how long it takes to reach a decision. If an examiner finds it necessary to schedule a CE, this can also delay the process depending on how quickly it can be scheduled.

In short, the faster you respond to their requests, the faster an initial decision can be made. A professional disability representative will ensure DDS has the information they need in order to make a decision on your claim using the 5-step process employed by Social Security. Your representative can help obtain missing information, remind you of upcoming CEs, and work with you on questionnaires if necessary.

*Note: Under special circumstances, if your disability is expected to change or is found to be unstable due to recent corrective procedures or changes in medications/therapies, a 90-day hold may be placed on your claim to re-evaluate residual functioning, further delaying the decision.

If you are thinking about filing your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits, or are currently pending at the initial application phase, contact us now. We are ready and willing to help you!

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