I am asked by every Hoosier asking for information about Social Security Disability Benefits how long it will take for the Disabled Hoosier to receive benefits. The answer is not a one size fits all. Each claimant has differing medical issues that will affect how long the process takes. So, let me start out with a general discussion of the process.
First one files and application. It generally takes three to four months to process the application. If the application is denied, the applicant must appeal that decision by filing a Request for reconsideration. It takes, again, about three to four months to process this appeal. If the Request for Reconsideration is denied, the applicant must file a second appeal known as the Request for hearing Before Administrative Law Judge. It generally takes 10-14 months to process this appeal to the point of having a hearing. If the Judge denies the appeal, the applicant must file an appeal to the Appeals Council. This process takes anywhere from a couple months to 14 months to complete. If this appeal is denied, the applicant must file an appeal in the Federal District Court. This process can take 4-8 months. If this appeal is denied, the applicant can file an appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
I know this seems daunting. However, a vast majority of those who receive benefits are approved at the hearing before the Administrative Law Judge. In addition, there exists a Compassionate Allowance. This is a list of injuries, illnesses and or diseases which usually result in a finding of disability. Thus, if you have a condition which is listed on the compassionate allowance list, you claim will be expedited.
Remember, the burden of proving disability rests with the applicant. This proof comes in the form of medical records, tests, and reports. Therefore, an applicant must be able to present evidence of the disability in the form of medical records of treatment. If you have not sought medical treatment, I suggest you do so immediately. If you do not, your chances of proving your disability are very, very small.