A Timeline For The Alabama Social Security Disability Process
The following time frames are averages of thousands of claims and include all categories of physical impairment and mental disability claims. Your specific case could take more time or hopefully be processed faster.
Initial application: After your claim is submitted to the Social Security Administration , it typically takes three to five months to get a decision. We help file the initial application to maximize our clients odds of approval.
If your claim is denied, the good news is that Alabama is a prototype state that has eliminated the Reconsideration step. You can directly appeal a rejected claim to the SSA for a hearing before an administrative law judge .
The hearing: You have 60 days from the date your claim is denied to request an ALJ hearing. The SSA and the Alabama Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review are trying to reduce the backlog of cases, but are making slow progress. Alabama is in Region IV, where the average wait time to get a hearing is 421 days. After your hearing, the average wait time to a decision is 77 days.
When you add it all up, you may be 1 1/2 to 2 years into the process before you get a hearing and a ruling. However, this stage is your best opportunity, statistically speaking, to win your case. Our attorneys pour great energy into your hearings and appeals to secure the benefits you need and deserve.
If L Get Paid First Should I Wait Until I Receive The Notice Of Award Before I Cash The Check Or Spend My Past
There is no problem with cashing the check. But it is best that you deposit your check in an interest bearing savings account and not spend it all until you receive the Notice of Award so that your attorney can make sure that attorneys fees were withheld and that you have not been overpaid. It is also a good idea to make two photocopies of the check before you deposit it. Send one copy of the check to your attorney and keep the other for your records.
We Will Work For You And Fight For You As Long As It Takes
Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of applying for Social Security Disability is the lengthy wait times. Your case can linger for many months in bureaucratic limbo. Even claimants who eventually win their cases are typically a year or more into the process before they get approved for benefits.
Cox Disability Law, LLC, is committed to helping you weather the storms and the doldrums of this frustrating process. We cant speed up the government, but we will do everything possible on our end to shrink the timeline. We make sure that your initial claim is properly documented for the best chance of success. We will promptly appeal denied claims and vigorously represent you at any stage of the hearings and appeals process.
We Are Here for the Long Haul
Our Birmingham law firm handles only Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income claims. We have helped thousands of people in northern and north central Alabama qualify for benefits.Contact us online or call 800-930-1205.
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You Cannot Do Any Prior Work
Eligibility for social security disability benefits does not just require a finding that you are unable to perform at your current job the SSA must also find that you cannot work at any of your prior jobs. After determining that your disability precludes you from working at the job you held when you became disabled, the SSA will consider your age, education, experience, and prior work history to determine if there is other work you could perform. If the answer is yes, your application will be denied.
For example, lets say you work in construction and your disability prevents you from operating heavy machinery and lifting heavy objects. However, your work history shows that you held various jobs in administrative or managerial roles, none of which required you to operate machinery or lift heavy objects. The SSA would therefore consider you able to do your prior work and deny your application.
If, however, your disability prevents you from performing even these tasks for example, if you cannot sit for long periods or if you cannot perform administrative tasks like typing or filing the SSA would find that you were unable to perform any of your prior work, and your application would likely be approved.
Obtaining disability benefits can be complicated, but an experienced SSD lawyer can help you when applying. Consider the Good Law Group for your representation call .
Why Are So Many Applications Denied At First
The SSA receives a lot of disability applications. Given the volume of applications, SSA agents look at each application with high scrutiny. Overall, many applications are denied at first, because theyre:
- Filled-out improperly
- Lacking medical evidence
Its best to over-document your situation in your initial application to avoid being denied outright. However, dont worry if youre rejected, as theres a formal appeal process.
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When Your Benefits Start
Generally, if your application for Social Security Disability Insurance is approved, you must wait five months before you can receive your first SSDI benefit payment. This means you would receive your first payment in the sixth full month after the date we find that your disability began.
Example: Your disability began on June 15, 2020 and you applied on July 1, 2020. Your first benefit would be paid for the month of December 2020, the sixth full month of disability.
However, there is no waiting period if your disability results from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and you are approved for SSDI benefits on or after July 23, 2020.
Example: We found that your disability began on November 3, 2020 and you applied on January 11, 2021. We would pay your first benefit for the month of December 2020, the first full month of disability.
We pay SSDI benefits in the month following the month for which they are due. This means that the benefit due for December 2020 would be paid to you in January 2021, and so on.
If I Am Approved For Ssdi Benefits Do I Get Other Benefits
An SSDI beneficiary is automatically eligible for Medicare 24 months after the onset date or date they were found to be disabled.
Medicare coverage starts in the 25th month of your SSDI entitlement. SSA will automatically send you information approximately 3 months before you are eligible for Medicare.
Social Security disability recipients may be eligible for Food Stamps but must file a separate Food Stamp Program application. Requirements for eligibility vary.
A Social Security Disability recipient may also qualify for SSI, depending on the amount of your monthly SSDI benefit and your other assets.
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What You Should Do While You Wait
While you are waiting to hear from the insurance company, you should continue to get medical care as needed and scheduled, tell your doctor about your symptoms and how they limit your ability to function every day and tell your doctors about any side effects you may be having with your medications. Take all your medications as directed and follow your doctors orders to excruciating detail. Remember, you might have someone watching you to see if your conditions are what you claim. And, of course, start considering who you may want to work with should your claim for benefits be denied.
When Should You Receive Your Disability Check
On average, it takes about 1 to 2 months to get your disability check after your social security disability claim is approved. In some cases, it can take longer. Back payments, however, usually arrive much later.
SSI payments, on the other hand, begin right away. Its typically sent on the first day of each month, except when it falls on a Sunday. In such instances, youll receive it on the last working day of the previous month.
Under the law, a six months waiting period between your disability onset date and when you should get your first payment must also be observed. For example, if your disability started in June 2020, your payment will start in December of that same year.
Even if your claim is approved on the same month that your disability started, youll still have to wait six months before you can get your first monthly payment. Taking from the previous example, if your disability claim is approved in June , the earliest you can expect your check will still be in December. An exemption to this rule would be if your condition falls under the Compassionate Allowances Program which we will discuss later.
Most of the time, however, the approval process itself eats up most of the waiting period. Receiving other payments like workers compensation benefits or pensions based on work not covered by social security may delay your check even further. Instances like this require a claims specialist to manually process your claim, hence the delay.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Disability Back Pay Once Approved
The process of getting approved for SocialSecurity disability benefits can be a lengthy one. You may even need to gothrough several stages of appeals before the Social Security Administration approves your claim. During this time, you lose out on benefits you needto cover your expenses. Once your claim is finally approved, the good news isthat you might be eligible to receive back pay for the benefits you deservedprior to your approval.
A common question among disability applicantsis: When can you expect to receive your back pay? While your application wasprocessing, it may have been necessary to incur debt to pay your bills andensure your basic needs were met. Now, it is only natural to want your back payas soon as possible to pay off the debt and get your finances back undercontrol.
Other Payments May Affect Your Disability Benefits
If you receive certain other government benefits, such as workers’ compensation, public disability benefits, or pensions based on work not covered by Social Security , the Social Security benefits payable to you and your family may be reduced.
For more information about how these benefits can affect your Social Security payments, please refer to the following publications:
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Disability
For example, if your disability began on june 15, 2018, your first benefit would be paid for the month of december 2018, the sixth full month of disability. The first thing people ask when they find out that there is no one answer to how long it takes to be approved for social security disability is, well, what’s the ballpark average?
When Will You Receive Backpay
Because SSDI applications take a long time to get approved, most successful claimants are entitled to disability back pay. In most cases, back pays are sent to your account 60 days after approval. It may also come with your first disability payment. But this doesnt always happen.
Sometimes, you will receive your back pay much earlier . In other cases, it takes longer than two months. This is because SSDI back pays are handled by payment processing centers instead of the SSA office where you applied.
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What Does Fully Favorable Mean In A Disability Case
After the Social Security Administration decides about your disability benefits application, you will receive a Notice of Decision letter in the mail. If you receive a fully favorable decision, the SSA approved your application with the onset date of disability that you originally noted. You will then start receiving disability benefits as soon as your elimination period or waiting period has ended.
If you received a fully favorable decision, congratulations you do not need to take any further action. However, if you received a partially favorable decision, you may want to consider your options. Our attorneys can assist you with an appeal.
When Will My Regular Monthly Benefits Begin
Usually regular monthly benefits begin the month after you receive your check for past-due benefits, although occasionally people get a check for regular monthly benefits first. Your check will be sent out to arrive on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of the month, depending on what day of the month you were born. The check will pay benefits for the previous month. Thus, for example, the check for Januarys benefits will come in February.
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Hope For Those Waiting To Get Disability
There is some good news. If you have a severe disabling condition, your wait may not be as long as you think. The Social Security Administration has been working hard to speed up application times for those who suffer from the most severe disabling conditions.
This fast track process allows some Social Security applicants to be awarded an approval in a matter of days, rather than a matter of months or even years.
It has been estimated that this year 100,000 to 125,000 of the people who suffer from the most severe disabilities will be approved for Social Security Disability within ten days of their application.
This fast track program is intended to help the Social Security applicants who need help the most, but the trickle effect this program causes may end up with reduced backlogs for other Social Security Disability applicants.
Remember, when applying for Social Security Disability, patience is a virtue. Your application will not be approved overnight. Just make sure you do everything you can to speed the process along. Provide any and all required documents quickly and try to expedite matters when you can.
How Do You Apply For Ssdi
You can apply for disability benefits just as you would apply for any other form of Social Security. Applications may be submitted through the Social Security office in your area, online at the SSAs website or over the phone with an intake worker. In-person applications are possible, but it’s recommended that applicants schedule an appointment in advance to ensure availability of a worker.
Once your application paperwork is in, you will have to provide evidence of your eligibility with identity and medical documents. These may be submitted along with your application. The documents will be reviewed and a decision made about your benefits in one to three months.
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What Factors Contribute To An Ssdi Denial
Before we address waiting times, lets take a look at what contributes to an SSDI denial. If the initial decision you receive is rejection, then you might feel hopeless. But denials can be appealed, and working with an attorney makes it more likely that your claim with be approved.
An initial denial is can be due to either a lack of medical evidence or treatment. When going through the application process, its important to discuss how your disability impacts your ability to work with your doctors so that there is documented medical evidence of your disability. Accurate documentation will help your chances of approval.
Its also important to follow all the treatment guidelines set out by your doctor for your disability. If you dont follow your doctors treatment plan, its difficult for an SSDI examiner to accurately assess your disability, which can lead to an initial denial. So, if your doctor urges you to get treatment for your medical conditions, that treatment can potentially help your conditions and your SSDI claim.
Do Approvals Take Longer Than Denials
Our survey results didn’t show a significant difference in the amount of time it took to get an initial approval or denial after filing a disability application. But there did appear to be a difference in how long it took to get an approval or denial after a hearing. Those who were approved for benefits after a hearing waited an average of about seven weeks for the decision, while those who were denied waited almost ten weeks, on average. This makes sense, because written decisions for denials of benefits need to be more detailed as a result, they can take longer to write.
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Do Ssdi Denials Come Faster Than Approvals
If you are no longer able to work, you might need Social Security Disability Insurance to replace to wages you can no longer earn. But the SSDI application process can be intimidating. Once youve filled out the application, submitted all the appropriate documents, and gone through any necessary medical evaluations, the waiting begins.
It can feel like forever as you watch the days go by without any word on your claim. For most, this process takes three to five months, but each case is highly individual and, in some cases, it can take over a year to reach an initial decision. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, with SSA representatives working from home, mail delays and other delays, the wait times have grown even longer.
If youve filed a claim or youre considering filing an SSDI claim, then you might be wondering if there is a correlation between wait times and denials or approvals. To address this concern, we need to look at all the factors that go into SSDI claims.
Why Should You File A Request For Reconsideration
If your claim has been denied, you will want to file a request for reconsideration. If you dont file a request, and you refile a claim, it will affect your backpay. If you file a request for reconsideration and it continues through the process, then you will receive backpay that dates to your initial claim.
You can also recover backpay for up to 12 months preceding the filing of your claim, minus the five months for the waiting period.
When you submit your request for reconsideration, you will want to provide more thorough documentation and supporting evidence for your claim. Most claims are once again denied during the request for reconsideration.
However, after this denial you will be able to file a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge. When you do that, your likelihood of having your claim approved will increase greatly. To have your claimed approved at the reconsideration level, or to get it approved later at a hearing, you must first understand why your claim was denied.
When you file a request for reconsideration, ask yourself a few questions about why your claim was denied. Think about if you meet the specified criteria for a listing in the Blue Book that applies to your specific condition.
You should also consider if you are still able to do the same kind of work. That means you arent considered disabled per the SSA guidelines. To have a successful claim, you must prove that you cannot work and earn a living.
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