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How Long Does It Take to Get SSDI Benefits?

July 15, 2021

If you are like many people who have suffered disabling injuries and illnesses, you cannot afford to wait any longer than absolutely necessary to obtain Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. 

At the Karl Truman Law Office, our experienced SSDI attorneys know how crucial Social Security disability insurance benefits are to the lives of disabled people. These benefits provide a critical financial lifeline, especially for those who relied on their job as their primary source of income. 

So, how long does it take to get SSDI benefits?

According to the AARP, the average processing time for SSDI applications was 166 days as of March 2021. That’s almost six months. If you need to start collecting benefits so that you can keep paying your bills on time, making mistakes that delay your application might not be something you can afford.

Also, keep in mind that SSDI benefits always have a waiting period of at least five months. This waiting period starts on the day you become disabled. So, if you file your SSDI application promptly after becoming disabled, this waiting period could coincide with the majority of the application processing timeline.

How To Make Sure You Receive SSDI Benefits as Soon as Possible

Given the amount of time it takes the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to process SSDI applications, you will want to do everything you can to make sure you are able to receive benefits as soon as possible. Some of the most-important steps you can take to streamline your SSDI application include:

1. Accurately Complete the Entire SSDI Application

Completing the SSDI application is not easy. You need to provide a lot of information, and you need to make sure all of the information you provide is 100% accurate. If you leave out important information, if you include information that is inconsistent, or if you make any other mistakes, your application will get flagged, and this will significantly delay the processing of your application—if not lead to a denial.

2. Prove that You are Disabled

When you file an application for SSDI benefits, you must include proof that you are disabled. Typically, this involves obtaining up-to-date medical records from your doctor. Not every injury and illness qualifies as a “disability” for purposes of SSDI, so you need to make sure that your medical records reflect a qualifying condition.

3. Get Help from an Experienced SSDI Attorney

Due to the challenges involved in filing for SSDI benefits, it is best to get help from an experienced attorney. Your attorney should be able to work with you to complete your application, and he or she should be able to obtain the medical records you need to submit with your application. Getting help from an experienced SSDI attorney will significantly reduce your risk of denial, and this means that you will have a far better chance of receiving benefits as soon as possible.

4. Seek Expedited Payment of SSDI Benefits

In some cases, SSDI applicants can start receiving benefits before the SSA fully processes their application. An experienced attorney can also determine if you are eligible to seek expedited payment. For example, an SSDI attorney may be able to help you seek expedited payment for:

  • Presumptive disability: If your medical records show that you have a “severe” condition and there is a strong likelihood that the SSA will approve your application, you may be able to obtain presumptive disability payments while your application is pending. Some examples of qualifying conditions include total blindness, amputation at the hip, and cerebral palsy.
  • Emergency advance payment: If you truly cannot afford to wait for the SSA to approve your application for benefits, you may qualify for an emergency advance payment. Your attorney should be able to determine your eligibility and seek an emergency advance payment if you qualify.
  • Compassionate allowance: Under the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program, certain individuals qualify for expedited processing of their SSDI applications. If your medical condition “clearly meets Social Security’s statutory standard for disability,” an attorney may be able to get you benefits quickly through the Compassionate Allowances program.
  • Terminal illness: The SSA also provides expedited processing for SSDI applicants who have terminal illnesses. If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that is untreatable and expected to result in death, your attorney may be able to expedite your claim on your behalf.

Talk to an SSDI Lawyer Today

Do you have questions about filing for SSDI benefits? Are you struggling to collect the SSDI benefits you deserve? If so, our experienced SSDI lawyers can help. We strongly encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach the Karl Truman Law Office in Louisville, Kentucky, at (502) 222-2222 or in Jeffersonville, Indiana, at (812) 282-8500.