For as long as you have had a job, you have contributed toward Social Security. Many workers make use of those contributions when they are older and ready to retire.
However, some people don’t get to work until retirement age. Medical issues will force them to leave their jobs when they would likely still prefer to continue working. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are a safety net for working adults so that they won’t end up impoverished due to health issues.
Many applicants don’t get benefits when they first apply. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 65% of first-time applications are rejected. Fortunately, the chances of an approved application are much greater when you appeal an initial rejection, but you will need an SSDI attorney’s help to get the best possible results.
The length of time depends on the kind of appeal
Some applicants get benefits after asking for a reconsideration of the initial decision. They may submit more documentation to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and then ask for someone to review their claim. Reconsideration could take as little as a few weeks depending on the current volume of applications.
Other applicants will need to wait to make their case in a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The wait times differ based on the office processing your application. As of August 2022, the Flint SSA office had an estimated average wait time of 11 months before an applicant can expect to see an ALJ.
If you need to pursue additional levels of appeal beyond the hearing with an ALJ, that might add another year or more to the total duration of the appeals process. Thankfully, if you eventually receive approval for benefits, you can receive those benefits going back to when you first qualified, rather than starting on the date when you receive your approval.
Learning more about what to expect when applying for SSDI benefits can help you develop the patience and persistence necessary in many cases.