Waiting for SSDI benefits

People may have to wait for months and even years when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance is designed to help people who have a serious condition or illness that inhibits their ability to work. People may be eligible for either short-term or long-term benefits depending on the circumstances surrounding their condition. Often times, when people need this type of financial aid, they are struggling with extensive medical bills that makes it hard to make ends meet. Since they are unable to work, they may not have any income to help them with this mounting debt. When people are applying for SSDI benefits, however, it may take an extended period of time to receive a response. Despite the need for services, the SSA reports an extensive backlog of SSDI applications that are waiting for a decision.

The application process

Once the SSA receives an application, agency representatives must call medical professionals to verify that the applicant's condition qualifies for SSDI benefits. In some cases, the applicant may be asked to submit more documentation, go in for a physical or get another evaluation to support the disability claim. This can be a lengthy process, and at the end, there is no guarantee that the applicant will be approved for benefits. Furthermore, it may take months or a year for the administration to review the application in the first place.

Backlog of applications

There are over 900,000 applications waiting to be approved for benefits. The average time period to decide on an SSDI case is 422 days. Yet it may take longer if the applicant needs to go through an appeal. Some cases have taken as long as three years to process through the system. The process can take so long, in fact, that people have actually passed away while waiting for their benefits to be approved.

Compassionate allowances

In order to help with the major backlog of SSDI applications, the SSA has developed the Compassionate Allowances Program. This program expedites the application process for people who have conditions or disabilities that obviously meet the standards required for approval. People who are diagnosed with conditions found on the Compassionate Allowances list are impaired and cannot work.

Getting the benefits you need

When you are disabled, sick and unable to work, you may have difficulties making the critical decisions that need to be made regarding your financial health, future and wellbeing. An attorney in New Jersey who has experience handling Social Security Disability Insurance cases may be able to help you through the application process, and ensure you have the documentation you need to have your claim processes as quickly as possible.