It’s a long process to be approved for disability benefits.
From the initial application to the hearing in front of an administrative law judge, most cases take around a year and a half to resolve.
Even in a case with a “quick” turnaround, it’s rare to see a hearing scheduled less than a year after an application is filed.
There are a few things that can speed up the process, however.
The best thing you can do is be clear about why you’re applying for disability. Social Security has what’s called a compassionate allowance list of rare, mostly terminal conditions. If a claimant is applying for disability due to one of these impairments, their case is fast tracked, and they may be approved in just a couple weeks.
Another way to get a hearing more quickly is if Social Security finds you are in “dire need.” This means providing evidence that you are without food, medical care, or shelter.
Proving dire need is a high standard, however. Usually, it is only granted in cases where a claimant can provide notice of imminent foreclosure or eviction.
Another thing that can speed up the process is to just be specific in the information you provide, particularly when it comes to work history and information about where to order your medical records. These are really the key things that are used to determine a claim at the initial stages, and unfortunately, I have seen quite a few cases that should have been approved early on get sidetracked because the claimant didn’t return a work history report or was unclear about their duties at a job.
The good news, however, is that this is something any experienced disability attorney can help you with.