SSDI applications: How long can you expect to wait for benefits?

Whether injured from an unexpected accident at work or developed a chronic condition after performing years of repetitive occupational tasks, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance.

These benefits can help you make ends meet while you are unable to work. In some cases, people rely on this money to pay for their everyday expenses. Yet, you often do not receive SSDI benefits immediately after applying. It is important to understand how the process works so you can expedite the process.

What does the application process entail?

Once you fill out your SSDI application, the Social Security Administration reviews the information and determines whether you qualify for benefits, according to ssa.gov. In addition to reviewing your condition, disability claims adjudicators look at whether you have worked long enough and paid the appropriate Social Security taxes. The application review process also goes through disability specialists and medical consultants, who look at the specifics of the case.

How long does the process take?

According to the Social Security Administration, there is a five-month waiting period on SSDI benefits, starting the first full month after the injury occurred. There is no waiting period, however, on certain conditions, such as ALS and certain cancers.

The review process can vary in the amount of time it takes to process your application depending on your particular case. For instance, the process may take longer if the representative needs to contact medical professionals for more information or obtain additional documentation.

It is critical that you fill out the application fully and correctly. One small mistake may cause SSA representatives to deny your application, forcing you to enter the appeals process. This can add months to your wait period.