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The Disability Claim Timeline

Published on July 16th, 2019

As your disability lawyers in Knox County, we know that filing a disability claim can be stressful and time-consuming, so we want to make sure that you know all the information needed for this process. It’s important to note that the Social Security Disability claim process follows a general timeline, so you can figure out which step you are on as time goes by.  


Initial Application

It’s important to be aware of the time frame as the initial application process can take from 3 to 5 months to complete. The process begins when you send out your application and it’s received by your local Social Security Administration field office. After the field office verifies any non-medical eligibility requirements—marital status, age, etc.—the application is sent to the Disability Determination Services office. The DDS is a federally-funded state agency and it’s responsible for developing the medical evidence for a claim to determine whether are not you are medically disabled. 


When this is completed, the DDS sends the application back to the SSA field office for a complete administrative look by calculating benefits in order to begin payments. If you were denied, the file will stay at the field office in case you choose to appeal the decision. 


Request For Reconsideration

You have 60 days from the date you see on the top of the denial letter to file an appeal for reconsideration. The process is similar to the initial claims process, but a new person will review your claim. The reconsideration process also takes roughly 3 to 5 months, and it’s likely the reconsideration will be denied as well. 


Appeals Hearing

If your initial application and request for reconsideration were both denied, you have 60 days from the dated denial to request an appeals hearing. The appeals hearing takes place in front of an administrative law judge, which is known to be the longest part of the process—from ten months to 2 years, all depending on what state you reside in. The hearing level helps your chances of being approved. 

Our experienced disability lawyers in Knox Country can help you understand this process in more detail when you contact us today. We offer free case evaluations and are accessible by phone (800.290.9272) or email.

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