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Disability decision is there a deadline for decision?

Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I have been waiting for my disability decision for three months. I cannot believe it is taking this long to get a disability decision. I was wondering if the Social Security Administration (SSA) has any requirements to make the disability decision within a specified period of time? Why does it take so long?” disability-legal-help There are millions of SSDI and SSI applications submitted to the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year. Unlike other governmental programs like Medicare where the government has established deadlines for delivering decisions, however, SSA disability representatives are not required to make a disability decision within a specified time period.

Why does it take so long for the SSA to issue a disability decision?

Now you asked why it takes so long for the disability examiners to issue a disability decision. There are several reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.
  1. There are millions of disability applications submitted each year.
As mentioned above, no matter how well-intentioned SSA representatives might be, the number of disability applications submitted, as well as the limited number of representatives, makes it impossible for the SSA to issue timely disability decisions.
  1. Medical records can take months to collect.
The second reason that the disability decision can take so long is that the SSA may have to wait months to get all of the medical records they need to make a disability decision. Whether it’s trying to contact the disability applicant for information about their treating doctors or contacting the doctors to have them send the right medical records, getting the right medical information can add months onto the disability decision making process. Additionally, if the claimant has to attend a consultative examination because they do not have medical records or their doctor does not send the information to the SSA, it can take even more time for the SSA to get the information they need to make a disability determination.
  1. The SSA cannot contact the disability applicant.
The third reason that it can take months for the SSA to issue a disability decision is that a disability claimant may not send the SSA updated contact information, making it impossible for the SSA to contact them. Keep in mind, if the SSA tries to contact you several times without luck they may have the legal right to close your case, forcing you to resubmit your application a second time. What can you do to expedite your SSDI case? Although it can take months or years to get a disability decision, there are several things you can do to expedite your case. Specifically, you can make sure the SSA has your most recent contact information. You can also respond quickly if the SSA contacts you. Finally, and most importantly, you can provide accurate information about your doctors and information about how the SSA can request your medical records. Failing to do any of the above can unnecessarily increase the time it will take for the SSA to make a disability decision. Recent blogs: