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Why does this take soooo long? The down-low on the SSD backlog

The time it takes to be approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can vary significantly depending on several factors, including your individual circumstances, the complexity of your case, and the region in which you apply. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Initial Application: The initial application process can take several months to complete. At Gramenos Law, we've seen a 7-10 month wait time; this is significantly longer than "pre covid" days. It typically involves gathering medical records, completing the application forms, and providing supporting documentation. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your application and medical evidence, and this initial decision can take several months. Keep in mind that SSA staff numbers are down since Covid and the already slow process has gotten even slower.

  2. Reconsideration (if applicable): If your initial application is denied, you can request a reconsideration. This can add several more months to the process, as the SSA will review your case again. Gramenos Law staff has seen an average of 4-7 months for decision at this level and only about 3-5% of cases are approved at this phase. Pro Tip: if you lost on your application, you are most likely going to court! See below...

  3. Disability Hearing: If your application is denied at the reconsideration stage, you can request a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The wait time for a hearing can vary widely depending on the backlog of cases in your area. It can take anywhere from several months to a year or more to get a hearing date. For a list of all states visit Gramenos Law is tracking a 6-10 month wait time for a scheduled hearing and we primarily opt for a virtual option! Woohoo! One thing Covid got right was allow for an option to do your hearing from the comfort of your home!

  4. Appeals Council (if applicable): If your claim is denied at the hearing level, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. This can add more time to the process and takes roughly 12-18 months for a decision. Gramenos Law will always review your case for an AC appeal!

  5. Federal Court (if applicable): If your claim is denied at the Appeals Council level, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. This is the most time-consuming stage and can take a year or more.

It's important to note that many SSDI claims are initially denied (roughly 1/4 of all applications are approved), but many applicants are successful after appealing their cases and attending their hearing! The key is to be persistent and gather strong medical evidence to support your disability claim. Gramenos Law will help you do this! We ensure that your put your BEST case forward!

The total time it takes to obtain SSDI benefits can range from several months to several years, depending on your specific situation and the level of appeal you reach. It's advisable to consult with an attorney at Gramenos Law to help navigate the process and improve your chances of success. Gramenos Law attorneys can also provide guidance on how long the process may take in your particular region.

Want to know if you have a viable case? Call or click today!

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