TheElder & Disability Law Firm, APC
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Timeline for disability benefit payments after approval

When people apply for Social Security disability benefits in California, they are often very eager to receive their necessary, long-awaited payments. In general, people who are approved for benefits on their initial application or reconsideration appeal will receive them more quickly after their award notice than those who are approved at the hearing level.

After Disability Determination Services approves an initial claim for Social Security disability benefits or a reconsideration appeal, it sends back the results immediately to the local Social Security office for further processing. Once this happens, a claims representative continues to move the claim into pay status. this means that many people receive their Social Security disability benefits the month they receive their entitlement to benefits. That entitlement month may not be the current month, due to the mandatory five-month waiting period for claims. Some people could still face delays if additional actions are necessary to start payments.

When people are approved for benefits at a hearing before an administrative law judge, the process can take longer. In general, these decisions are written by a third party and then sent to the judge for approval. After the judge has approved the written decision, it is then sent to the Social Security office for payment processing. This entire process can take several months for payments to finally begin. Due to the importance of disability payments to a person's life and well-being, the Social Security Administration says that it is working to reduce processing times.

People who are applying for benefits can work with a disability lawyer in order to prepare their documents and handle the application at an appeals or hearing level. A disability attorney can help a claimant gather important medical documentation and present their case in line with the requirements of Social Security law for the best potential results.

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