After your doctor tells you that you cannot return to work because of an illness or injury, you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits at any time. However, most people decide to act quickly to avoid losing potential benefit payments.
Understanding the timeline for SSD can help you prepare if you or a loved one has become disabled.
Filing your claim
The Social Security Administration has not placed a deadline on SSD benefits applications. However, you can only receive 12 months of retroactive benefits after approval. If you wait longer than a year to apply, you can miss out on months or even years of payments.
In addition, approved individuals do not begin receiving benefits until the sixth month after the disability started.
Every SSD case is different. Some applicants receive benefits within 30 days while others must wait two to three years for approval. According to data from the SSA, the average time for eligible disabled individuals to receive approval was 108 days.
Some people qualify for expedited approval, including individuals with a presumed severe disability or presumed blindness.
Appealing your case
If you receive a claim denial, you have the right to file an appeal. However, you must do so within 60 days of receiving the individual application decision. If you do not receive a favorable decision in the reconsideration phase, you have another 60 days to request a hearing. You will learn the hearing date from SSA at least 75 days in advance.
Paying close attention to these deadlines can help you successfully navigate the SSD claim process.