You wait. Sometimes, you wait a long time.
When you apply for disability, your application is routed to a disability examiner at your local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office. Depending on the field office’s caseload and the completeness of your application, it can take from one to three months – possibly even longer – to learn whether you’ve been approved to receive social security disability benefits.
If your disability application is denied and you appeal, there’s another round of waiting. In Illinois, you can expect to wait an average of 14.9 months to receive an administrative hearing. And that doesn’t include the time it takes for the administrative law judge to rule on your appeal.
All this waiting to begin receiving social security disability benefits is understandably difficult. Fortunately, there are several options available to check the status of your disability application while you await a formal decision.
Check Your Disability Application Status Online
SSA prefers that individuals check their application status through my SocialSecurity, a secure, online portal accessed through the SSA website. To use this option, you must create an account at the mySocialSecurity website. Once you’ve created an account, you can log on at any time to review information regarding:
- The date your disability application was received
- The current location of your disability claim or appeal (i.e., at the local SSA field office, with the administrative law judge, decision mailed)
- The date and time of your administrative hearing, if one was scheduled
- Whether a decision has been made
Creating an account also lets you review information unrelated to your disability application, such as your last reported annual earnings and your estimated retirement benefit. Since social security disability benefit awards are based on prior years’ earnings, it is a good idea to review this information periodically. If the SSA has inaccurate wage information, or if it conflicts with the financial information you submitted with your disability application, it could potentially delay processing your application and/or decrease your benefits award. Make sure to notify the SSA immediately of any errors.
Check Your Disability Application Status by Phone
If you don’t have Internet access or don’t wish to create a mySocialSecurity account, you can check the status of your disability application the old-fashioned way – by telephone. Simply call your local SSA field office for an update. Visit the SSA website to find the number of your local field office.
Hire a social security disability attorney
You can hire a social security disability attorney at any stage of the application process. Disability attorneys focus solely on helping their clients get SSD benefits and have a thorough understanding of the SSA regulations, the information that is needed to support your disability claim, and the best way to present it. This not only greatly improves the chances that your disability claim is approved, but also makes the process less stressful. Consider the Good Law Group for your representation – call (847) 577-4476.