How Long Does It Take To Get Approved For Disability?

Looking at calendar to get approved for disability
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Have you been stricken with one of the many long-term illnesses, chronic conditions, or life-altering injuries that might cause you to apply for disability income?

Provided you’re not collecting workers comp–or something similar–your disability claim application is one of your last lifelines to a reliable income source

Being unable to work in today’s landscape means you need to scratch and claw for every last bit of money owed to you. The cost of living keeps rising. Your condition means financial security is of the essence to provide you the necessary quality of life to live comfortably despite your challenges. 

Unfortunately, collecting disability from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is laden with roadblocks. Even filling out and filing your disability claim application is a daunting process, especially when you’re already struggling physically and mentally. 

Pair the above facts with the difficulty of getting approved. 

You’re then presented with a pressing need to be on the ball–and nearly infallible–when you apply for disability income.

Part of that preparedness is knowing how long it takes to get your disability claim approved. Awareness of this timeline will help you plan your finances accordingly and make the necessary arrangements to tide you over and bridge money-related gaps until approval.  

Unsurprisingly, since we’re writing an entire article on the topic, “how long does it take to get approved after you apply for disability income?” is a loaded question. 

The Timeline For Your Disability Claim Application Approval Is Murky

The Timeline For Your <a href=Disability Claim Application Approval Is Murky” class=”wp-image-438″/>

Collecting social security disability income (SSDI) from the SSA is no cakewalk.

Certainly, some applicants can receive their approval in as little as thirty days. Yet, this timeline is more exception than the rule, and the bureaucratic nature of the disability claim application approval process almost always ensures a relatively long wait time. 

Even more challenging–there’s no exact timespan we can tell you.

Below are some insights into why it will likely take an extended period to get approved after you apply for disability income:

Disability Decision Makers Need To Be Very Stringent

There’s only so much disability income available for Americans, so the decision-makers in question must be stingy. Moreover, your Disability Decision Services (DDS) caseworker must be thorough. If too hasty in their approval, these individuals are suddenly vulnerable to fraud accusations and charges. 

You’ll Probably Get Rejected The First Time You Apply For Disability Income

Your chances for first-time approval on your disability claim application are low. There’s only a 22% average acceptance rate for initial applications. 

There are plenty of reasons first-time denials happen. First and foremost, even though your disability is very real to you, the DDS and SSA have very specific ideas of what constitutes a disability.

These governing bodies need to know that you fit their specifications of a disability without a shadow of a doubt. They also need to be 100% sure you can’t return to your old job, nor are you able to train for a different role to earn income. There can’t be any question about whether you’re unable to work anymore. 

Plus, you must be technically eligible to collect disability income. You need to be covered by social security and have accumulated enough work credits. So, while you’re unable to work, your history of applicable employment might not satisfy the SSA’s or DDS’s scrutiny.

The likeliest scenario is technical errors on your disability claim application, or your caseworker just needs more evidence. A few t’s crossed and i’s dotted. In which case, don’t re-apply–you’ll need to appeal. 

All these road bumps tend to increase the time of approval. These obstacles are also why there’s no one straight answer to getting the DDS/SSA nod when you apply for disability income.

Fortunately, at, we’re intimately familiar with this process and can detail potential timelines for your disability claim application approval. 

Considerations For Your Disability Claim Application Approval Timeline

Considerations For Your Disability Claim Application Approval Timeline

It’s a bit of an understatement to call an approval process that can span anywhere from 30 days to over a year unpredictable. A more accurate term would be an emotional rollercoaster. For people in need, it can be heartwrenching. 

However, you can reduce the bumps in the road. Preparing yourself for what to expect and how to respond when your application is rejected will increase the likelihood that you will successfully apply for disability income. More importantly, it’ll offer peace of mind knowing what lies ahead during these uncertain times.

Your Initial Disability Claim Application

When you initially apply for disability income, expect the response time to be three to four months. 

Still, be aware that this process can draw out for the following reasons: 

The individuals charged with assessing your disability claim application are only human. It’s common knowledge that the SSA and DDS are underfunded and understaffed. Thus, the problems you’d expect with resource-scarce organizations exist.

There’s also the possibility your caseworker needs more information or evidence. Combine that requirement with lacking the necessary financial support to get that information promptly. It’s then not shocking to find out that your initial disability claim application approval process can take up to eight months.

As we’ve already established, initial claims are often rejected for multiple reasons. So, the timeline can extend even after up to eight months of waiting after you apply for disability income.

Reconsideration After Your Initial Disability Claim Application Is Rejected

We’ll emphasize the need to take a deep breath after an initial disability claim application rejection. While it’s undoubtedly stressful, given your pressing need for income, hanging in there and following the right steps are an utmost necessity in getting you the money you deserve.

So, provided your initial disability claim application is denied, simply file a request for reconsideration. It’s the correct step to follow, and it will keep you in good standing with the SSA and DDS. Still, filing for reconsideration can add another three to four months to your approval.

You might still face a denial. Fortunately, once more, you’re not out of options.

Filing An Appeal When Your Disability Claim Application Is Denied After Reconsideration

If your disability claim application reconsideration request is denied, you’ll need to file an appeal.

We can’t stress the importance of filing an appeal and not reapplying enough. Even if you perform all the due diligence and get all the technical details right, re-applying can work against you. 

By appealing your disability claim application denial, you’re on the correct path to collecting your SSDI. The case will be given to an administrative law judge (ALJ) and will take between six months and two years for a decision. 

Speeding Up The Process When You Apply For Disability Income

Speeding Up The Process When You Apply For Disability Income

We’ve outlined a scenario wherein it could take you up to two years to receive approval after you apply for disability income.

Most people in need of SSDI don’t have the luxury of waiting that long for payments. Bills will start piling up, and the cost of living is likely to keep rising. Therefore, it’s important to follow the steps below to help streamline the disability claim application approval process:

Ensure You’ve Filled Out Your Disability Claim Application In Its Entirety

Don’t leave any room for technical paperwork snafus to lead your disability claim application approval astray. Ensure you’ve provided the following details:

  • Every doctor you’ve visited
  • The doctors’ contact information
  • The dates of examination

Give The SSA Exactly What They Need When You Apply For Disability Income

When you make the SSA and DDS have to fill in the dots themselves, it’ll take them longer to approve your disability claim application. 

To the above point, you must include all your medical records in your disability claim application. 

Doing so prevents caseworkers from needing to reach out to your physicians. Remember, these decision-makers are people themselves. They’ve got a lot on their plate and will appreciate it when applicants make their lives easier. 

Ensure All Relevant Information From Your Doctors Is Present In Your Disability Claim Application

Every last stitch of evidence you can collect when you apply for disability income will vastly bolster your chances for streamlined approval. Gather letters from whichever doctor is treating the medical condition or injury preventing you from working.

This letter must confirm your affliction and detail why it’s preventing your gainful employment. 

Regularly Check Your Disability Claim Application Approval Status

Find out whether the SSA requires more information on your disability claim application by visiting here to track your case. If you missed something, staying informed allows you to quickly make the necessary corrections.

Work With An Expert When You Apply For Disability Income

The disability claim application approval process can be daunting, and the timeline can stretch far too long for comfort.

While the information we’ve provided to speed up approval is helpful, working with an expert increases your chances of streamlined SSDI approval far more than going it alone. 

For instance, you can contact today. We’ll use our vast experience and thorough knowledge base to help you successfully file and receive government assistance across all 50 states. 

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