Many Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. It isn’t really an issue for their family until someone doesn’t have another paycheck coming but the bills keep rolling in anyway.
If you have recently suffered a severe injury or developed a disabling medical condition, you may have had to stop working completely unexpectedly. What’s worse, not only will you have medical bills accruing, but there’s not necessarily any guarantee about when you can get back to earning income because the condition is going to last for a while, if not the rest of your life.
Thankfully, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) exists for exactly this situation. If you have made enough contributions through tax withholdings as a worker, you can claim benefits that will help you cover your basic living expenses. How long does it take for you to start receiving benefits?
Some conditions qualify an applicant for fast-track approval
The Social Security Administration (SSA) handles thousands of applications and appeals. The volume of work for each individual office can mean that applicants have to wait weeks if not months to hear back.
With advancements that allow people to submit some of their paperwork electronically has come fast-track processing. The SSA has software that screens applications for those very likely to receive approval and who have conditions that necessitate benefits quickly. They have both a Quick Disability Determination software program and a Compassionate Allowance program for those likely to receive approval who need benefits sooner.
Some applicants will have to wait months for appeal hearings
The weeks of anxious waiting after you first submit your application sometimes result in disappointment. Finding out that the SSA rejected your claim can be a significant setback, but it should not stop you from pursuing benefits.
A significant portion of people who initially receive a rejection notice eventually receive benefits upon appeal. Depending on which SSA office handles your appeal request, you can be waiting months for a hearing. The good news is that if an administrative law judge approves your appeal, you can collect benefits going back to the date when you first qualified after your application.
For most people, the wait for SSDI benefits will be somewhere between a few weeks and a few months. For extreme cases, benefits could start within the same month that someone applies or take over a year to start.