Social Security Disability Benefits And Appeals

On average, it takes about 350 to 600 days to process a social security disability application. Waiting nearly two years to get access to social security benefits can put your life on hold. Fortunately, you can expedite the application process to ensure that you're entitled to social security benefits.

Here are some tips to help you successfully file and receive social security disability benefits.

Legal Power

Hiring or consulting with social security lawyers can drastically decrease your chance of being denied the first time you apply for social security disability benefits. Many clients initially attempt to file their applications without a lawyer and only come to a lawyer after their application has been denied or their case remains in limbo. Because your social security disability payment will likely never end up in court, you can sometimes save money by hiring a paralegal who specializes in social security disability cases.


Social security disability benefits are often denied for "insufficient documentation." In a social security disability case, you must prove that your disability will prevent you from working for the rest of your life.

  • Injuries: if your disability stems from an injury, you will need to exhaustively document the accident or incident. This might include Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OHSA) reports if you were injured on a job. If you were injured in a car accident, you'll want to include the police report, insurance claim, and a written record of the accident. It's important to make sure that your name (as it appears on your social security disability application) is clearly stated in all the reports.
  • Medical Records: regardless of how you become disabled, you must show, medically, that you are unable to work. Your medical records should extend from your initial consultation all the way through to your application submission date. Aside from clearly documenting your medical issues, you must have a doctor certify that your medical condition is permanent and will prevent you from working in the future.

Having a lawyer or paralegal examine and/or prepare these documents before your submit them can help you avoid the drawn out appeals process.

Filing an Appeal

Many social security disability applications are initially denied because once you're granted social security disability benefits, it's virtually impossible to lose them. If you're forced to appeal your decision, however, keep these tips in mind.

  • Paper Trail: keep all paperwork you receive from the Social Security administration.
  • Names and dates: keep a record of who you speak/correspond with at the social security administration and when you interact with them.