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How long does it take the SSA to process a disability claim?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Social Security Administration News, Social Security Disability, Social Security Disability Benefits

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance in California, you may do so because the disability that prevents you from working and are facing financial insecurity. In truth, most people who apply for SSDI are facing similar circumstances, making ongoing processing delays especially frustrating.

According to CNET, wait and processing times for Social Security benefits have reached an all-time high, with the U.S. Social Security Administration now facing a massive backlog of more than a million applications.

How long processing is taking

As of December 2022, the typical applicant who applied for SSDI wound up waiting seven full months for a response from the SSA. This is the longest wait period experienced by applicants in 14 years. Some attribute the processing delays to the SSA facing an increasingly high workload, but declining staff numbers, making it difficult to get things back on track.

What might speed up the processing of your claim

If your situation meets specific circumstances, you may be able to fast-track your disability claim. If your condition is one that appears on the SSA’s Compassionate Allowances list, then this automatically fast-tracks your claim. The Compassionate Allowances list is a database of especially severe conditions. If you have one, the SSA’s processing software automatically moves your application closer to the top of the list. In some cases, you may also be able to expedite your claim by demonstrating that you have a “dire need” for these benefits. This means you are struggling to obtain food, housing or other essentials in the absence of these benefits.

Keep in mind, too, that if, after a long waiting period, the SSA denies your initial application, you have the option of filing an appeal.

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