The Elder and Disability Law Firm, APC
Does a fast SSD benefits denial mean a weak claim?
When people apply for Social Security disability benefits in California, they may be worried if they receive a quick denial. The process of applying for SSD benefits is known to be lengthy, so applicants may believe that a quick response indicates that they have a particularly weak case. However, the speed at which people receive a response is often entirely unrelated to the merits of their disability claim. Applications for SSD benefits are handled at the first levels by disability examiners who work for disability determination services.
These examiners do not manage their cases according to set deadlines nor are the applications that are first received necessarily completed first. While disability examiners do face some ratings based on the age of their caseload, there are reasons unrelated to the claim itself that could cause one case to be decided more quickly than another. One of the most important factors in how long it takes to obtain a response on a Social Security disability claim is how long it takes the disability examiner to receive the applicant's medical records.
If an applicant has medical records from fewer doctors and hospitals, they are more likely to arrive more quickly to the disability examiner's desk. Even in cases involving a comparable number of medical professionals, some offices may process records requests more quickly than others. As a result, cases with complete medical records are processed faster than those that are still incomplete.
Many qualified applicants for SSD benefits receive denials at the initial application stage or even in a reconsideration appeal. A disability hearing before an administrative law judge provides a better opportunity for claimants to introduce additional information and evidence backing up their claim. By working with a disability lawyer, applicants can help strengthen their case and increase their likelihood of a successful outcome.