Waiting on your Social Security Disability claim can seem endless. The average wait time nationally is two years. Those who applied for SS Disability after becoming disabled through illness or injury are left feeling like they're underwater, with a lifeguard telling them to just wait two years for help to arrive.
There are a few steps you can take that may speed up the process (or at least make things a little less difficult) while waiting on the outcome of your Social Security Disability claim.
Let's take a look:
1. Be Honest About the Issues
Many applicants worry that speaking up or contacting their local Social Security office to ask about the status of their application will only lead to a slowdown in the process. Even fewer applicants are willing to speak publicly about the long wait times and the effect it can have on their everyday life.
There is no evidence of cases being purposefully ignored or delayed as a result of applicants speaking up, and some evidence to suggest that the Social Security office does respond. Don't hesitate to do what you can to keep up with the progress of your application!
Just be sure to be polite and understand that your local Social Security office may not have much control over the timing of the approval of your application.
2. Start Filing Immediately After Becoming Disabled
Some claimants worry that filing "too soon" may hurt them if they recover and are able to return to full-time gainful employment.
This isn't true! If you are disabled due to an illness or injury and it looks like there is a low chance of full recovery, you may still start the application process right away.
If you fully recover later on and you're able to return to work, you may withdraw your claim as needed with no harm done.
Filing early will help you spend less time worrying over making ends meet, as your application will be further along in the process as times goes on.
3. Seek Legal Representation
One of the most essential steps to preparing your Social Security Disability claim for the hearing is to seek legal representation from a law firm with experience in SS Disability.
Legal representation may allow you to potentially find ways to expedite the process and to make your unique situation heard by those in the Social Security office. You can assist your representative in the development of your claim by providing regular updates regarding any medical treatment, changes in condition or medications.
A legal representative can speak with you about your situation, answer your questions about how Social Security Disability interacts with Medicare or child support obligations, work with you to understand the questions the judge may ask, what documents you'll need to have, and help you prepare for your Social Security Disability hearing.
Waiting on Your Social Security Disability Claim?
Bluestein Attorneys is here to help. Our Social Security Disability team has experience helping our clients to navigate the sometimes complex pathway from becoming disabled to receiving SS Disability, and we'd be happy to schedule a free consultation with you. You can reach us by phone at (803) 779-7599 or contact us online at any time.