How Long Does it Take Social Security to Make a Decision on Disability?

How Long Does it Take Social Security to Make a Decision on Disability?

Have you been waiting for your social security disability decision? If you have, you should not expect a decision to be made until three to five months after you have applied. And furthermore, if you do qualify for social security disability, you should not expect to get the benefits paid until the month after you are approved. Suppose you apply for social security benefits on February 1st and do not hear back about your decision until July 1st. In that case, you can expect your monthly benefits to start coming in on August 1st, a month after your application was approved.

But, there are many things that affect the decision on whether or not you are approved for social security benefits. The Social Security Administration may contact your doctors and gather the medical evidence that proves you have a disability. They may also send you a form (while in the process of deciding) to get a medical examination or get some tests done to prove your disability. If you want to be approved for social security disability benefits, you need to comply with what the Social Security Administration requires.

Types of Social Security Disability Insurance

There are two types of social security disability insurance you can receive upon approval of your application.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the first type of insurance. This insurance pays benefits monthly, but they are paid out due to your working long enough to have earned the income by paying taxes at your place of work.

Supplemental Security Income pays benefits to adults and children who have disabilities and limited income or resources. People who benefit from this program do not usually have enough social security to cover their benefits because their disability means they are unable to hold a job.

Application Process

No matter the type of social security disability benefits you need, the application process is pretty similar for both types of insurance.

You can apply by phone, online, or in person. Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld recommends checking the adult disability checklist before applying to ensure that you gather all the information needed for applying. Following this checklist will also make the process smoother and easier.

Second, you will have to complete and then submit your application. Again, this can be done by phone, online, or in person. If any questions come up, it is recommended you give the Social Security Administration a call for assistance.

Third, the office will review your application and make sure you meet all the requirements.

Fourth, they will ensure that you have worked enough years to get social security disability insurance benefits and evaluate any current work activities.

Lastly, they will process your application and then send it to the Disability Determination Services office, and they will make the final decision.

Although it may be a nerve-wracking process to wait for a decision, know that a few steps need to be taken before your approval or denial. All actions need to be taken into account to make the final decision.


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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