Unable to work due to health constraints and struggling financially, you look for answers. Seeking Social Security disability (SSD) benefits seems like a logical option if you likely cannot work for at least a year or maybe even permanently.
Among the more crucial steps is to apply for these necessary benefits as soon as you can. Why? Because if qualify for SSD benefits, it may take at least eight months to more than a year before you see the check in the mail or the direct deposit in your bank account. Please avoid procrastination.
It could take more than a year
As we know, the wheels of the U.S. government, sometimes, turn slowly. And this can be frustrating for the people who promptly need those SSD benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are the steps when filing for SSD benefits and the timelines that may come with them:
- Once you have submitted your application for benefits, the SSA takes three to five months in forming a decision. If the agency affirms that your ailment qualifies you for benefits, do not get too excited yet, because you still have more waiting to do. Now, you and other applicants who qualify must wait the required five months before receiving any benefits. Thus, the shortest wait to gain benefits may be eight months.
- If the government rejects your application, though, do not panic. Two-thirds of all SSD applications are initially denied. In this scenario, you must promptly file an appeal. You have 60 days to file that appeal in writing.
- During the appeal process, an administrative law judge evaluates your case and hears supporting evidence prior to an outcome. That decision could take one to three months.
- A judge’s ruling in your favor means you will obtain those much-needed disability benefits. But you will not immediately get them. Qualifying applicants must be disabled for five straight months before receiving the benefits.
Hardship and tragedy, sometimes, strike people waiting on the outcome of their appeal. The U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that 8,000 people on average or 1.3% of SSD applicants each year had filed for bankruptcy during the six-year period of 2014 to 2019. In related statistics, roughly 9,144 or 1.2% of the applicants died each year while waiting for a decision between 2008 and 2019.
You know that you and your family need these benefits. Promptly apply for them, weave your way through the, sometimes, arduous process, and rely on patience.