Why is My Social Security Disability Claim Taking So Long?

What is social security disability?

You may have paid into Social Security your entire working life, but what is it exactly? Social Security is a social insurance program that provides income to workers and their families when they retire or become disabled. The program is funded through payroll taxes, which workers and employers each pay half of.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the program and provides benefits to eligible individuals. To be eligible for benefits, you must have worked long enough and paid enough into the system. The amount of your benefit is based on your earnings history.

What is disability?

The SSA defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

In order to be found disabled, your impairment must prevent you from doing work that you are able to do and that is substantial gainful activity. SGA is defined as work that involves doing significant physical or mental activities, and it is usually done for pay or profit.

The SSA will consider your age, education, past work experience, and any other skills you may have when determining whether you are able to do other work. If the SSA finds that you are unable to do other work, they will then determine if your impairment is severe.

An impairment is considered severe if it significantly limits your physical or mental ability to do basic work activities. Basic work activities include walking, sitting, standing, lifting, bending, seeing, hearing, and using your hands and feet. If your impairment does not significantly limit any of these basic work activities, then it is not considered severe and you will not be found disabled.

How long does it take to get a decision on my claim?

The SSA has a goal of processing most disability claims in about four to five months. However, the actual time it takes to process a claim can vary depending on how complex the case is and how long it takes to get the necessary medical evidence. Some claims may take longer than others to process.

If you have been waiting for a decision on your claim for more than four or five months, you may want to check the status of your claim online or contact your local Social Security office.

What can I do if my claim is taking longer than expected?

If your claim is taking longer than expected, there are a few things you can do:

  • Check the status of your claim online or contact your local Social Security office.
  • Make sure the SSA has all the necessary medical evidence. You may need to provide additional information or documentation.
  • If you disagree with the SSA’s decision on your claim, you have the right to appeal.

Now that you know more about social security disability and the claims process, you can start to understand why your claim may be taking longer than expected. However, if you are still concerned about the status of your claim, you should contact your local Social Security office for more information.