Today’s post comes from guest author Barbara Tilker from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.
Many people currently applying for Social Security disability benefits know someone who has been through the process before and is currently receiving benefits. In fact, many of our current clients were referred to us by former clients who were pleased with how we handled their case. This means we often hear the question “Why is my case taking so long? My friend was awarded disability right away and didn’t have to wait.”
The short answer to this question is that every case is different. Each case is assigned to someone at the Social Security Administration to handle, and some people work faster than others, or have less cases to work on. If the person handling your case at SSA get sick or goes on vacation, you may wait longer for a decision. If you are treated by several doctors, it may take SSA longer to get your records, and the more records there are to review, the longer the case can take. Make sure you tell your doctors that you have filed your application so that their office staff will be aware that SSA’s request for records will be forthcoming. The faster your doctors respond to SSA’s requests, the sooner a decision can be made.
The SSA does the best they can, given the increase in claims and decrease in staff members, to make decisions in a timely manner. The best way to get a quick decision is to make sure that you give SSA all the information they need to process your claim and get your records. If SSA is not told about a doctor that you see until they have already started the process, it may take them longer to get those records, delaying your decision. You should also make sure that you respond to letters and phone calls from SSA as soon as possible. Make sure that you promptly report any changes in your medical condition or care, such as a new doctor, a new medication, or a hospital visit.
If you want assistance with your Social Security disability claim, please contact our office and speak with a member of our staff. We’ll be happy to set up a free consultation so that we can discuss your case, either in one of our offices or over the phone.