Getting your benefits after applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can sometimes take a long time. The application process, the mandatory waiting period, and any hearings to fight for your benefits can each delay your benefits. Fayetteville SSDI lawyer Ken Kieklak explains how long it takes after a disability hearing to get your benefits, and how long it can take overall. If you need help applying for disability or getting your benefits approved, call our law offices to schedule a free consultation.
How Long Does it Take after an SSDI Hearing to Reach a Decision?
Sometimes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will deny your disability application or require additional information to determine whether or not you are disabled. In many cases, this means you will need to go to a disability hearing to prove your disability. Your disability lawyer can help present evidence to prove your disability, and the administrative law judge that holds the disability hearing will need to decide whether you are disabled or not.
Before any funds can be dispersed to you, a decision must be made as to whether or not you are disabled. Fortunately, the judge who hears your case might have an estimate for you at the end of your disability hearing as to how long it will take to make a decision. In many cases, these decisions can take far longer than expected, and you often have to wait around 2 months for a decision.
When Does My SSDI Back Pay Start?
After the judge makes a decision on your disability hearing, the payments start around 60 days after. The 60-day period often accounts for the time it takes for the SSA to get things in order. Remember that the SSA handles hundreds of thousands or even millions of disability applications each year, and government agencies are often slow to begin with. This waiting period is, unfortunately, something you must be patient with.
Many people want “back pay” when they apply for SSDI, since the application process takes so long. What many might not realize is that they are usually eligible for two types of back payments: “back pay” and “retroactive payments.”
When you apply for SSDI, you are usually entitled to payments reaching back all the way to the date you became disabled:
- The payments you can receive to cover the period from the date of disability to the application date are known as “retroactive payments.”
- The payments to cover the period from the application date to the decision date are known as “back payments.”
After your disability is approved, you should receive both of these payments, typically in one lump sum. Ongoing payments will also start, continuing on a regular cycle.
How Long After Applying Can I Receive Disability Benefits?
The time between applying for disability and receiving benefits can be quite long. As mentioned, you must wait around 2 months between a disability hearing and a decision, and another 2 months between the decision and when you actually receive your first payment. However, this is not always mandatory. If your application is accepted without a disability hearing, you could receive your benefits without the wait times for scheduling a disability hearing, waiting for a decision, and waiting for benefits to arrive.
When applying for SSDI, there is a mandatory 5-month waiting period. This waiting period starts on the date you apply and means you cannot receive benefits until 5 months later, even if your application is accepted immediately. That means that if your application is not truly “delayed” unless the process takes longer than 5 months.
The initial application can take a couple of weeks to complete fully. The application may require help from your doctor and other medical evidence, which can make this take a little longer. After applying, you are guaranteed at least a 5 month wait. If your application is accepted without trouble, this is likely the maximum amount of time you will wait before receiving benefits.
Any additional delays, such as the time it takes to schedule and hold a disability hearing, can occur during the 5-month waiting period. If delays take longer than 5 months to resolve, your payments are only truly “delayed” insomuch as they exceed the 5-month waiting period.
Working with an attorney to answer the SSA’s requests for additional information or to handle your disability hearing can help ensure that the process moves as smoothly and efficiently as possible, hopefully cutting out delays longer than 5 months.
Call Our Fayetteville Disability Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one is considering applying for disability benefits or has already applied and was denied, talk to Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today. Ken Kieklak is a Fayetteville disability lawyer with decades of experience handling disability cases and disability hearings on behalf of disabled Arkansans. For help with your case, contact our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation. Our number is (479) 439-1843.