How long does it take to be awarded Social Security Disability Benefits?
It depends on it you are talking about (i) how long does it generally take to hear back for Social Security after filing your initial application or (ii) after an initial denial, how long does it take to present your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Generally, it takes around 3-5 months to hear back from the Social Security Administration after your initial application. The time varies in accordance with: (a) the nature of your disability; (b) how quickly the Administration can obtain a copy of your medical records; (c) whether the Administration feels that a consultative medical examination is needed and (d) whether your claim is randomly selected for quality review. If you have not heard anything by the end of 5 months, you should contact the Social Security Administration to ensure that a determination has not been mailed to the wrong address or otherwise fell through the cracks.
If your case was denied, and the overwhelming majority of cases are denied upon initial review, then you have 60 days in which to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Be sure to act quickly as 60 days will run quickly. Once your appeal has been filed, it can take up to a year before your case is set for hearing. How quickly depends on the evidence you are able to present (dire need), the severity of your condition (some conditions are given priority), whether your disability is related to an condition suffered while serving in one the U.S. Armed Services (these are given priority status) and the number of other claimants already scheduled in front of you. If you have a strong case with medical evidence to support your claim, the Administration may choose to pay you on the record without a hearing, but this does not happen often.
If you believe that you are disabled and entitled to receive Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits and you have questions about your rights, don’t hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Disability Attorneys at Powell and Denny today.
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