How Will I Know if I’m Approved or Denied for SSDI? What Do I Do After That?

How Will I Know if I'm Approved or Denied for SSDI? What Do I Do After That?

Every time you collect a paycheck, part of your payroll taxes go into a general disability fund. The Social Security Disability Insurance fund is there to provide a kind of insurance policy, a safety net. Its purpose is to allow a working person the chance to submit a disability claim if they should become disabled and to provide coverage if they qualify.

The amount of coverage a disabled person can receive depends on how much he or she has paid into the SSDI fund over the course of their working life. It can also depend on the severity of the disability.

Many people wonder if their SSDI claims will be approved, how long it might take before they know they are approved, and what to do after they are approved or if they are denied SSDI.

Here, we will answer these and other essential questions concerning those who apply for SSDI.

How to Apply for SSDI

You can apply online by visiting or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Representatives will make an appointment to take your application by phone or at a social security office near you. You may also be provided with a Disability Starter Kit, which will help you prepare for the application process. Kits are available for adults and persons under 18.

How Do I Know if My Claim Is Approved or Denied?

You will receive a notice by mail, which will tell you whether your claim was approved. Unfortunately, there is no specific time frame within which your claim is sure to be processed. The time it takes to process a claim depends on how much staff the social security office has on hand, how many claims they have to handle, and the complexity of those claims. Weekends and holidays also slow the process down.

In most cases, it will take between 30 and 90 days to process your claim. To know what your chances of approval are, you should understand the definition of disability according to the Social Security Administration.

What to Do if I Am Denied for SSDI

Some 70% of disability claims are initially denied. If your application for disability benefits is turned down, don’t give up – you still have options. The two most common mistakes people make after they are denied is to give up or to apply all over again – making the same mistakes they made the first time.

Many applications are turned down because of missing information, missing or incomplete forms, or because the application was completed incorrectly.

When you are denied, you have the option of filing an appeal. What happens when you file an appeal is that another representative will review your forms and reconsider your case. In most cases, it is best to add additional information that you may not have included with your first application.

If you can afford to, hiring a lawyer to work with you as you put your paperwork together will give you the best chance of being approved.

Review the SSDI Blue Book to make sure you have provided enough evidence that you are disabled and cannot work and that you qualify for coverage.

My Claim Was Approved; What Now?

If, after the long wait, you are finally approved, you will receive payments in arrears for the time you were unable to work up until the present. Payments will continue on a monthly basis for as long as you are deemed to be unable to work due to your physical condition or disability.

You should know that there is a five-month waiting period between the time you are approved and the time when your first check will be sent. You should do your best to be prepared to weather this interim period.

The amount you receive will depend on your previous income and the amount of time you worked in recent years. Today, the Social Security Administration prefers to deposit funds electronically via direct deposit. You can still receive physical checks, but it is faster, easier, and more economical for everyone to use the direct deposit option.


  • If you qualify for SSDI and have dependents, they may also receive benefits.
  • Taxes may apply to your benefits if you collect more than $44,000 in benefits.
  • The continuation of your benefits will depend on a regular review of your condition. If your condition is believed to have improved and that you can work, benefits may be discontinued. If you believe you are truly unable to work, it is crucial to make sure that your continued disability is clearly and fully communicated with SSA during their reviews.

Optimize Your Chance of Approval

Working with an attorney who specializes in social security benefits is the best way to ensure that you qualify and that your application is full, complete and convincing. To learn more about SSDI and your chances of approval, get in touch with Joel Thrift Law today.


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How Long Does a Claim for Social Security (SSDI) Typically Take?

How Long Does a Claim for Social Security (SSDI) Typically Take?

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits, waiting for approval, and navigating appeals can take years. If you have been injured or disabled due to a medical condition and are unable to work, filling out an SSDI application and waiting for approval can deplete your savings and leave you with few options.

You want to have the best possible chance that your claim will be approved and start collecting benefits as soon as possible. Here, we will discuss the risks associated with long approval times and some ways you may be able to endure the wait.

How Long Does the SSA Take to Process Claims?

Unfortunately, there is no set amount of time within which you are guaranteed to have your application reviewed and either approved or denied. Generally, thoroughly reviewing, approving, or denying your claim can take an average of between one to three months in the review process.

The amount of time your claim will take depends on several factors. They include:

·       The workload of the SSA office reviewing your application

·       The available staffing at your local SSA office

·       The types and complexity of claims in line ahead of yours

·       The complexity of your claim

The SSI Waiting Period

It’s also important to understand that if you are approved for SSI, a waiting period of five months must pass before you can begin receiving your payments. This means you will have to be financially prepared to endure the interim period.

The good news is that you will receive payments in arrears to cover the interim, but not until the five months is complete. You may have to live on your savings during that time or make other plans.

Naturally, the best insurance policy against disability is savings. Of course, not everyone has enough savings to carry them should the approval and appeals process take years to complete.

What Should I Do While I Wait for Approval?

Some SSDI applicants have had to wait years before finally receiving the benefits that they have paid into for their entire working lives. If you find yourself in this challenging situation, watching your savings being whittled away while you wait for approval, know that you still have options.


If you’re running out of money, you’re almost certain to incur late payment fees on your current bills. By setting up a secondary checking account, you can move funds into it, knowing that any automatic payments you have set up will not be able to touch the funds in your second account. You will have to pay your bills and any late fees eventually, but you can hold them off until your SSI payments start coming in.


This may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re confident that your disability claim will be approved in time, then you know you will be able to pay off the debt you accrue while you wait.


Many people fail to begin the SSDI application process in a timely fashion. They do this for many reasons. They may feel embarrassed about being unable to support themselves. They may have unrealistic hopes for recovery and bet on their ability to generate an income sooner than later.

These are common and understandable attitudes, but they can place you in danger of subsisting on little or no income. Don’t take the risk, and don’t delay the process longer than necessary. Apply for your SSI benefits as soon as you believe you may need them.

Remember; taking advantage of SSDI funds is not a sign of weakness or laziness. You have worked for your benefits all of your adult life, and the SSDI fund is there for the express purpose of protecting people like you.

When Is It Time to Consult an SSDI Legal Professional?

The short answer to this question is as soon as possible. Accessing legal representation can save you months or years of financial deprivation and worry in addition to the accumulation of debt.

An attorney who specializes in the SSDI application and approval process can help ensure that your application is filled out correctly and that all of the necessary evidence is included in your claim. With legal representation, you will obtain the best chance of being approved in a timely fashion.

To learn more about the SSDI application process, consult the professionals at Joel Thrift Law today.


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