As stated before, the current wait time to get approved for disability benefits is between 6 and 24 months. How quickly you get approved will be determined by what stage of the application process you are approved. Considering that every day several thousand applications are filed, you can see that you could be in for a significant wait. In all, there are four stages in filing a disability claim, with an associated wait time for each stage.
Stage One: Initial Decision
This is where you first file for disability and you receive your first decision. The reality is that you will probably be denied at this stage. The average wait time to get an initial decision is between four-six months.
Stage Two: Reconsideration
If you receive an initial denial, you have the option to “appeal” the decision, and that is something you definitely should do. Once an appeal has been filed, the average wait time to receive a second decision is another three-four months.
Stage Three: Hearing Level
If you are denied at the reconsideration level, you may request a hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge. Most claims that are approved are actually approved at the hearing level. Currently, the average wait time between requesting a hearing and getting a hearing scheduled is between 18 and 22 months. After the hearing, the judge will issue a decision. While every judge is different, the average time it takes to receive a decision is about two-four months after the hearing.
Stage Four: Appeals Council
If you received an unfavorable decision from the judge assigned to your case, you have the option to appeal the decision. This process is the longest of all and takes anywhere from 18-24 months after filing the appeal.
Call a Utah Disability Attorney
If you cannot work due to a disability call a local disability attorney today. Having an experienced attorney represent your claim will not only give you the best chance of being approved, but can give you the best chance of being approved in the initial stages. Most people do end up waiting for a hearing before getting approved. With an attorney you may not need to. Call today for your free evaluation.