If your application for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits has been denied twice – first your initial application and then a Reconsideration review – it could take 20 more months to get a hearing in front of a Los Angeles judge.
The SSDI appeal wait time is at record levels. The average wait time across the U.S. is 19.5 months with some areas as high as 26 months. There are 1.1 million cases backlogged in the system, a 57% increase over the backlog of 700,000 back in 2010.
The Social Security Administration cites the number of aging baby boomers who are moving into prime disability years, along with staffing shortages and an increase in claims due to the recession, as factors causing this extreme backlog.
The appeals backlog and wait time are causing financial hardship for those who cannot work because they are disabled and have no other source of income. Many SSDI applicants have already exhausted short-term state disability and unemployment benefits and are at risk of bankruptcy.
The Social Security Disability Appeals Process
Your initial SSDI application can take about 4 months for a decision and only about one-third of initial applications are approved. If your application has been denied, you should immediately apply for Reconsideration. At this point you can submit additional documentation about your medical condition and why you are unable to work. Your Reconsideration request will be reviewed by a claims examiner and medical consultant who were not involved in your first application. About 12% of applicants requesting Reconsideration are approved for SSDI benefits.
If your application is again denied, you have the right to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. If you have not already consulted an attorney experienced in SSDI cases, now is the time to call us for help in building a strong case for your disability. We will represent you at the hearing and you will have the opportunity to present more evidence of your disability along with witnesses. 46% of applicants who request a hearing win their SSDI benefits after a hearing.
If the Administrative Law Judge again denies your claim, your case may or may not go to the Appeals Council for review. If your claim is not heard by the Council or if it is again denied, your last recourse is to file a lawsuit in the L.A. federal district court.
Let Us Help You Win the Social Security Disability Benefits That You Have Earned
If you or a loved one has been denied Worker’s Compensation or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, it’s important to get an attorney experienced in these types of cases involved immediately. Call 800.438.7734 for your initial free consultation, either in our office or in the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, Social Security attorney in Van Nuys, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.