The process for applying for disability is a long one. Many different factors can have a part in just how long you have to wait. One thing that you shouldn't do is to count on a quick approval because this likely won't be forthcoming and your financial state can decline quickly while you await the outcome of your application.
If you need to file for Social Security Disability Insurance, make sure you are prepared.
File your application right away
Filing your application quickly is a good idea. The Social Security Administration only approves one out of three initial applications. Others will be denied, which is going to require an appeal if you choose to pursue the claim.
On average, you can expect a review period of three to six months. SSDI appeals will take even longer. It can take 600 to 800 days for an appeal case to be heard before an Administrative Law Judge. During this time, you won't receive payments.
Some applications are approved faster
Some individuals have a condition that is on a special list maintained by the SSA. This list names ones that qualify for the Compassionate Allowances program. Applications containing these are fast tracked through the system. This list includes many metastatic cancers and other conditions that might claim a person's life before the person makes it through the application and appeal process.
The SSA is constantly adding to the list of conditions that meet the criteria for the Compassionate Allowances program. In fact, people can provide feedback to the SSA if they feel that a condition should be part of this list.
Living through the process
Since this process takes so long, you have to be ready to handle the financial challenges that come with the wait. Set your budget right away so that you can make what money you have stretch. Not only will this help you now, but the new way of handling finances might be helpful to make the disability payments last all month if you are approved. Since these don't replace your entire paycheck, you have to learn to live on less than you did before.
You may need to apply for some financial assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Additionally, ensure that you have some form of health insurance in place so you can get care when needed.
As you are going through the application and appeal process, you might have some questions. Getting answers may help you to decide how to proceed with your case.