If there’s one thing you should know about getting approved for Social Security disability, it’s that the process is incredibly slow.
When you fill out your initial application, it normally takes three to five months to get a response. Two-thirds of the time, that response is a denial.
If you’re denied and file a request for reconsideration, you’ll typically have to wait another two to four months for a decision. 88 percent of the time, that decision is negative.
Then, if you submit a request for hearing in Indianapolis, it takes another 20 months just to have your hearing. All in all, you could end up spending over two years waiting to get approved.
Many applicants are desperate to speed up the process so they can get approved for the benefits they need. Although there isn’t much you can do, here are three steps to make sure your application goes through the process as quickly as possible.
1. Hire an Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer
A common misconception is that hiring a disability lawyer slows down your approval process. That’s simply not true. In fact, an attorney may be able to help speed up your case.
It’s not that your disability lawyer has some secret access to Social Security to make them work faster. Your lawyer simply does this for a living and knows exactly what needs to be done and when. Instead of trying to figure out the initial application on your own or trying to submit appeals the day before the deadline, you could hire an experienced disability lawyer who has been through this process thousands of times. They can help you with your initial application so you can submit it as soon as possible, and they can submit appeals soon after you get denied rather than right before the deadline.
2. Contact Your Lawyer If You Receive Anything from Social Security
Since you’re the one applying for disability benefits, you may receive denials, approvals, or other items from Social Security in the mail before your attorney does. Contact your lawyer the minute you receive anything in the mail from Social Security. That way, your attorney can explain to you what the correspondence means, how it affects your case, and what action they will take.
3. Update Your Lawyer on Your Condition and Contact Information
If your lawyer has an update on your case or needs something from you and can’t contact you, that’s going to eat up a lot of time. Make sure you inform your case manager if you have a change in your contact information. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of the approval process and having to start all over because your lawyer couldn’t contact you before a strict deadline.
You should also update your lawyer with any changes in your medical condition. Let your case manager know when you go to the doctor so they can alert Social Security to update your medical records. Your medical records will help strengthen your case because they show that there’s medical evidence of your disabling condition and that you’re actively treating with a physician to try to get better.
It can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days for your case manager to receive your medical records after they request them. That means that it’s important to keep your case manager up to date on all of your appointments so they can request and receive all of your records before your hearing. If you wait to schedule an appointment or to let your case manager know, you’ll just be making your approval process more difficult, and you may make it last longer.
Help from an Indiana Social Security Disability Lawyer
Whether you’re applying for the first time or waiting for your hearing, chances are that there’s still a long road ahead before you get approved for disability benefits. An Indiana disability lawyer can help. Call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online for a free case review.