TheElder & Disability Law Firm, APC
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Delays in Social Security Disability decisions

For people in California who apply for Social Security Disability benefits, the lengthy process that follows can often be confusing. Disability examiners do not have a mandatory deadline to issue a decision on an application for disability benefits. However, most people who apply receive an initial decision within the first few months after their application is filed. There are some cases that are decided more quickly and others that can take up to a year for that initial determination although both alternate cases are rare.

When someone applies for Social Security Disability benefits and seems to be facing longer delays than average, they may wonder what it means for their case. In general, people who work with disability benefits have an incentive to close cases more quickly rather than more slowly. Employee evaluations are based on the number of disability cases they close and how quickly they close them. However, several factors can make the processing of a claim for disability benefits even slower than usual.

One factor is whether disability examiners have a difficult time receiving the medical records of someone who files an application. When people make an application for disability benefits, they may file incomplete medical documents or inaccurate contact information for their treating physicians. In other cases, the information may be correct, but the doctor's office may delay sending the relevant documents. When people are scheduled for upcoming treatments or therapies, this can also cause a delay as an improved condition may change a person's eligibility for benefits.

Disabled individuals who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are often facing a situation in which they urgently await the approval of their claim. Working with a disability lawyer may help people seeking benefits to complete their filing accurately and in line with the Social Security Administration's guidelines.

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