Waiting to hear a judgment on your application for disability benefits can be a stressful and anxious time. This is due to the fact that it can take anywhere between 3-5 months to hear back on a decision that will have a significant impact on your life.
As you await the ruling, the Social Security Administration does very little to keep you updated on the status of your file for disability and this can only add to your anxiety. In order to alleviate these worries, you should take it upon yourself to keep updated on the status of your application.
Your first option should be to contact your local Social Security office where you applied for disability benefits. They will have some, correct information on your status but it may not have the sufficient amount of information you are looking for. This is because Social Security field offices do not actually process medical evaluations for SSI and SSDI cases.
Your second option is to call the SSA toll free number. This will give you the pleasure of talking to a call center representative from the SSA, who may not be the most informed individual about your case.
However, your best bet in order to learn the exact status of your report is to follow the below guidelines.
How to Know the Status of Your File
- Call the Disability Determination Services and try to speak with the examiner who is working on your case. The contact numbers for the DDS can be obtained from the SSA field office where you initially applied for disability. The DDS is known as the Bureau of Disability Determination in some states.
- Call the office of hearings and appeals if you participated in a hearing before an administrative law judge. You can obtain their contact details from an SSA field office.
- Have the office of your Social Security Disability attorney handle requests for status updates. Your disability lawyer will get progress reports and be updated on your case. He/she is also in a position to ask the right questions to the right people.
Social Security will notify you if a decision has been made on your disability claim. Failure to receive a decision on your claim after three months will require you to visit your local Social Security office for details on the ruling, though it is very rare that they would fail to inform you of their decision.