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How Long Does an SSDI Application Take?

Answers to Your Questions from Leventhal, Sutton & Gornstein

To come right to the point and answer that question, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it will take about 5-7 months for you to know if your application for Social Security Disability Insurance has been granted or rejected.

Beyond that basic reality, we urge you to read on to learn more about qualifying for SSDI benefits.

Qualifying for SSDI Benefits

The SSDI program provides benefits to disabled or blind individuals who are “insured” by their contributions to the Social Security Trust Fund. These are made through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax paid on earnings or those of their spouses or parents.

The Definition of Disability

To be found disabled by the SSA,

  • You must be unable to do any substantial work because of your disability,
  • And, your medical condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least 1 year, or be expected to result in your death.

Applying for SSDI Benefits

Given the length of time it takes to process SSDI claims, you should start the application process as soon as you are disabled.

You can apply online or by going to your nearest Social Security office. Or, you can apply by phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778.

Or, we at Leventhal, Sutton & Gornstein, can file your claim and help you from the very beginning!

After submitting your application, you will be interviewed by an SSA representative, either on the phone or at your local Social Security office. This interview will last at least one hour.

You can speed the process by having ready at the time of your interview your medical records and the other information required by the SSA to qualify for disability benefits.

The Process for Making a Decision on Your Application

If the SSA determines that you’ve met the basic requirements for disability assistance, the SSA will send your application to a state agency that makes disability decisions. These state agencies have medical and vocational experts who will collect additional medical evidence by contacting your doctors and others who have provided medical treatment.

In Pennsylvania, the Bureau of Disability Determination (BDD) is the state agency that helps the SSA determine if disabled Pennsylvania residents are entitled to SSDI benefits. This agency receives about 145,000 SSDI applications each year.

Based on the additional information collected by the BDD, the agency will complete the disability claim for the SSA, subject to a final review by the SSA.

If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal, referred to as “requesting reconsideration.” This level of appeal takes 5-6 months.

If your claim is denied a second time, you have the right to appeal through a Social Security disability hearing.

Legal Assistance is Strongly Advised

From this summary, you can see that applying for SSDI is a long and arduous process, and to increase your chances for success it is highly advisable to have professional legal assistance.

At the law office of Leventhal, Sutton & Gornstein, we have helped thousands of our fellow Pennsylvanians qualify for SSDI, and we would like the opportunity to assist you as well.

We urge you to call our firm or reach out to us online to schedule an initial free consultation with one of our experienced disability lawyers to review your case and determine the best way to proceed in securing your SSDI benefits.

Posted on June 20th, 2023 by Leventhal, Sutton and Gornstein

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