Why Is Social Security Disability Slow?

Alliance Disability Social Security Disability Attorneys

Ask a Disability Attorney

Why is Social Security Disability Slow?

After you’ve submitted an application for benefits, even if you did it online, your application has to be copied by hand into another computer system. The stack of applications waiting to be copied is significant. Once it’s copied it has to be reviewed to see if everything is in order before they even begin to look at your medical condition. If your application passes the first stage (meaning you didn’t make any mistakes) it will be sent to another state agency to make the decision about your disability.

The agency that receives your application is called Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS is so far behind that they often farm your case out to DDS agencies from other states across the United States. Once DDS receives your application (usually 2-3 months after you submit your application) they finally begin to collect your medical records. Obtaining medical records isn’t an easy process. Contrary to the belief of some, there is no national repository of medical records. Individual record requests are mailed to your doctors, payment has to be made, and those records then have to be sent to whichever DDS is requesting your records. Obtaining records will take a long time if the DDS working your case is in Boston, and your doctors are in San Diego. Keep in mind that you want DDS to get all of your records, if they’re taking the time to get them is a good thing.

You can help the process by submitting any medical records that you have to DDS. Call your local Social Security office and ask them for the contact information for the DDS examiner in your case. Call the inspector and make arrangements for them to get the records you have; the fewer records they need to collect, the sooner they’ll make a decision in your case.

Why is Social Security Disability Slow?
Long periods of waiting for an answer from Social Security are normal. There is very little that can be done to speed up a claim. Social Security does not always get the funding it needs to meet the demands on the system. The Social Security Administration is understaffed, and is working with very limited resources. This can lead to long wait times when awaiting a decision on an application.

Another thing that can slow decision in your case is a failure to return forms sent to you by Social Security. In most disability cases you’ll receive two sets of forms from Social Security: a work history report that asks you to give details about your past work, and a function report that details about your daily activities and physical and mental limitations. If you don’t return these documents quickly, your case will be delayed.

There are a few situations where your case may be eligible to be expedited. If your condition is expected to end in death, if you’re in danger of losing your home or being evicted, or if you’re 100% totally and permanently disabled through the Veteran’s Administration you may qualify to have your case expedited. This can cut the decision time in half in most cases. There are several other situations that may allow your case to be expedited; these are slightly more complicated so working with an attorney is highly recommended.

Social Security Disability takes forever due to many reasons.  Political conflicts with the system lead to