After you first apply for disability, you will wait about three to six months before you get a decision. Here’s some great things you can do and some interesting things that may happen while you are waiting:
📫 The biggest mistake people make is thinking their lawyer or doctor will do everything that needs to be done to get them approved. If you leave everything to a lawyer, it will usually take three years to get approved, and sometimes even after waiting three years, it still doesn’t work. You are the best person to help your application. It is never too late. The more you can do, the better your chances will be.
📫 If get any new tests or important doctors appointments, collect these records and send them in. (If you are unable to collect them yourself, contact your Disability Examiner in writing with the names, dates, and contact information for the important records you would like collected).
📫 This is important. Please do not leave this to your lawyer – many lawyers do not begin collecting and checking your records until two years after you first apply. It’s a great idea to check in with your disability examiner and see if there are any records she is still missing. If you get any new tests or procedures done, make sure to let her know.
📫 While you are waiting, any of these things may happen to you: You may get an Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire, you may get sent to a Social Security doctor, your contact person may get sent a Third Party form, or you may get a phone call from your Disability Examiner. Above is a timeline of what happens when.
📫 Sleepy Girl tips for a (slightly) easier life while you are applying.
📫 Click here if you run into a problem with your application
📫 If you are applying for SSDI, you may wish to check your Date Last Insured. If it is coming up soon, you want to do everything possible to get the best medical evidence you can before that day arrives.
📫 If you are applying for SSI, the way you are living right now can make your backpay check go up or down.
Cryptic Love Notes from Social Security
📫 If you have not already done so you may wish to create an online account, so Social Security can send you enigmatic little messages.
📫 At some point you may notice that your online account says SSI is denied but SSDI is still processing. Or you may get a letter saying something like this. Or it may say it the other way around. Sometimes this is true, sometimes not. Sometimes it is a big deal, sometimes not. Don’t panic just yet. Learn more.
📫 You may get a message that says “a medical decision has been made.” This means they made a decision but they won’t tell you what it means yet. Stay tuned. They will let you know more soon.
📫 You may get a message that says they are reviewing your case for “processing accuracy.” This means your case was randomly selected for quality review where, most of the time, nothing happens. Stay tuned.
📫 You may get a message that you were approved medically but they need to do a “non-medical review.” This is good news. It means you were approved. They will be contacting you to do a financial interview for SSI. See links below.
📫 If you get a decision, make sure it says a medical decision. If it is not a medical decision read this.
📫 They will send you your decision by mail. Sometimes it will appear first on your online account. Sometimes someone is willing to tell you over the phone (but usually not).
📫 If you were approved take a look here: Everything No One Ever Tells After You Get Approved
📫 If you were not approved (yet!) take a look here: How to Be Reconsidered or How to Appeal
Updated Sept 2017 📫