Every year, the number of people applying for disability benefits seems to rise. This has led to an increase in application volume and longer wait periods. The Social Security Administration (SSA) states that you will be notified of a decision within 3 to 5 months of the application date.
Despite the statements of SSA, very rarely does the application process take less than 6 months. If you do not complete the application properly, or do not have your medical records in order, it may be up to one year before you receive a decision.
Back Pay and the Application Process
If you do wait a long time to receive your benefits, you may be entitled to a lump sum called back pay. Back pay covers all of the months in which you should have been receiving benefits. You are entitled to back pay if you wait to receive benefits for more than 5 months.
SSI recipients can receive back pay if they wait for just one month, but most back pay will not come to people on SSI in one check. It will often be split into three separate payments, each one arriving 6 months after the previous.
Getting Help With Your Disability Application
A qualified disability advocate can assist you in completing the application properly, gather and organize your medical records, and sometimes even expedite the application process so that you receive a decision within a couple of months. Additionally, an advocate can help defend your case in court if need be, getting you a lump sum settlement from waiting for so long to receive benefits.