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Why does it take so long to get a ruling on SSDI?

Getting Social Security Disability can take a while, but why is the process so long? Discover why getting a ruling on your application can take so long.

Whether a person lives in Minnesota or another state, when applying for Social Security disability benefits, the application is always filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration. All applications go to the same place and are put through the same system because these are federal benefits. The process of applying can be lengthy and a lot of the reason has to do with this fact that the SSA is handling so many applications.

The basic of SSDI

While there are many people who apply for SSDI, there are only a fraction who actually get approved for benefits. The SSA has a very strict guideline for who can and who cannot get benefits under this program. To begin with the person must have a medical condition that will last at least a year and that will prevent that person from working. If a person applies for benefits, he or she can expect to wait for around three to five months to hear back with a decision on whether or not benefits are approved.

The problem with SSDI

According to The Motley Fool, one of the top reasons that it takes so long to hear back on an SSDI application is the number of people who apply each year. While not everyone is eligible for benefits, the SSA still must go through every application. Due to the strict rules for who can qualify, this means examining every bit of evidence each person provides, along with gathering any needed additional evidence to substantiate the claims. This takes a lot of time. So, even if a person turns in a complete application with all of the required information and documentation, it still will take months to hear back simply because the SSA is so busy.

Since many people, about two-thirds, are denied, the SSA is also dealing with appeals. If a person needs to appeal a decision, this process can take even longer. It is often a year before an appeal is heard, and then it takes additional time to get a ruling. This means it could take a person a couple of years or more to get an approval and receive benefits.

Some important facts

To get an idea of the scope of the Social Security disability program, in 2016, according to the SSA, about 10.2 million people received benefits. Keep in mind this is only about one third of all applicants. There were also over 800,000 people who lost benefits in 2016. The program paid out benefits in excess of $11.3 million that year.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be difficult. The process can take a long time, too. If you are applying, consider consulting an attorney, such as Midwest Disability, P.A.