When you develop a disabling medical condition or suffer a severe injury while you are still younger than retirement age, the consequences can be severe. You may worry about being able to keep your home, to say nothing of the need to continue saving for your eventual retirement.
If your medical condition is bad enough that it stops you from working and will likely keep you out of work for at least a year, if not the rest of your life, you have to start thinking about your future. You will likely need help to cover that lost income and take care of your medical and financial needs.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits can serve as a critical safety net for those suddenly unable to work after a productive adult life. However, for some people, there can be a long wait to get benefits.
Some applicants with valid claims get rejected
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is notorious for denying valid claims and making people wait to get benefits that they desperately need. Knowing that you will likely have an extended wait time and that your application could wind up denied even if you deserve and qualify for benefits should motivate you to fill out your paperwork carefully and start the process as soon as possible.
When you do eventually receive an approval, especially after a long delay due to a denial, you can potentially receive back-due benefits from the date of your application or when you first qualified, if that date is after when you applied.
How long will you have to wait if you need a hearing?
Appeals can involve either having someone review your application after a rejection or going in front of a judge. If you have to wait for a hearing, depending on the office that you go to, your wait time could be almost a year. Currently, the average wait for hearings through the Orlando office is about nine months, Tampa’s average wait is 11 months and Fort Lauderdale has an average wait of 10 months.
Getting help with your application and with your appeal will increase your chances of approval and make it easier for you to go through the appeal and hearing process if it becomes necessary.