Social Security disability benefits have helped millions of people support themselves after a serious accident or illness. However, the application process can take quite a bit of time. There are many reasons for this, which we will explain in this article.
If you need benefits and have a question, please contact a Tacoma, WA Social Security Disability attorney for more information.
Length of Review Depends on Having a Complete Application
According to a former disability examiner, the review process itself only takes a few hours, at most. The reviewer will look at your completed application, make a determination, and then draft a case write-up.
However, many cases take weeks or months because the application is not complete when the Social Security Administration (SSA) receives it. Often, the application is missing medical records, which the reviewer must analyze before making a determination. If you do not submit medical records with your application, then you will need to wait until SSA obtains all the records it needs.
SSA also needs other evidence to make a determination, such as:
- Information about your former jobs.
- Any medical reports from a consultative exam, which might be ordered if you have not received any treatment for your disability in the last 90 days.
- Information from either you or someone you designated who can talk about your daily activities.
It can take time to collect this information as well, which will slow down the disability review process.
How to Speed Up a Disability Review
When people are disabled, they need compensation now to cover their expenses. There are certain things you can do to speed up the review process.
For example, you should obtain all medical records before submitting your application. Make sure to get all medical records related to your disability, not only the most recent ones. SSA needs to determine the date on which you became disabled, and it needs medical records to back up its decision. If you only provide your most recent medical records, then SSA will need to request all remaining records, which bottles things up.
You should also make sure that you submitted a complete and accurate application. Correcting errors can slow the review as well.
Requesting a Hearing
If you’ve been denied disability benefits, you can request a hearing. You will have to wait quite a while, given the backlog at SSA. In Washington, you typically must wait 1-2 years. The precise amount of time will depend on where you live in the state. Some parts of Washington have more of a log jam than others, but the minimum wait is usually over a year.
Speak with a Tacoma Social Security Disability Attorney Today
If you’re disabled and need benefits, contact us. We are attorneys with extensive experience with Social Security Disability Insurance. We can help you submit a complete application and can also handle any appeal if you are initially denied benefits.
Contact us today. We offer a free case evaluation, which you can schedule if you give us a call at 253-581-0660.