How long does it take to get disability with a lawyer?
Can the disability process be faster?
What can a lawyer do to speed up the case?
In this article, we will answer the question “how long does it take to get disability with a lawyer” so you know all there is to know about it!
We will look at the disability benefits application process, the factors affecting the delays and what a disability lawyer can do to speed things up.
Be sure to read this entire post as we have a complete answer for you!
Are you ready?
Let’s dive right in!!
Table of Contents
In how long can you get disability benefits with an attorney?
There are many disabled individuals hoping that by retaining the services of a disability lawyer, they can quickly get Social Security Disability benefits.
- How long does it take for a lawyer to get your disability?
- How long does it take for a disability lawyer to get you approved?
The short answer is that a social disability lawyer can help you speed up your disability evaluation and process to a certain extent by helping you structure your application and provide all the right facts, documents and elements.
However, there is no guarantee of faster processing or approval of your SSDI.
A disability lawyer can provide you with legal support to help you navigate the complex disability application and legal process.
Disability benefits application process
A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process can take a long time.
To get your disability benefits, you may get approved:
- Following your initial disability application
- Following the contestation of an initial disability decision denying your application
- Following a disability appeal hearing when you were initially denied and you did not succeed at the reconsideration stage
Although the delays may vary in each jurisdiction, typically you can expect delays during the initial review of your application, the reconsideration stage and the appeal stage.
Initial review stage
The initial review stage is when you first submit your application and the time it will take for the Social Disability examiner to review your application and make a decision.
This process may take one to six months.
If you are approved, the process ends there.
If you are denied, you will go to the reconsideration stage.
The reconsideration stage is when you contest the denial of your application.
In other words, you exercise your right to Request for Reconsideration.
This stage may take two to seven months.
If you are successful, the process ends there.
If your reconsideration is denied again, you will move to the appeal stage.
The appeal stage is when you exercise your right to Request for Hearing and go before an administrative law judge.
This process can take twelve to twenty-four months.
The appeal process is first composed of the disability appeal hearing and eventually the decision of the administrative judge.
As you can see, the entire process can take potentially up to three years to complete.
A disability lawyer handling your case will not necessarily be able to reduce these timelines so you can get your disability faster or more quickly.
However, this does not mean that disability lawyers are not valuable to your case, far from it.
Experienced disability lawyers will legally advise you on structuring your application, gathering the right medical records and evidence, presenting what’s relevant and dealing with your application, and understanding the applicable disability laws.
Factors affecting the disability benefits process
Many variables potentially affect your disability benefits process and how long it will take for you to get your benefits or approval.
The most common factors affecting your disability benefits approval process are:
- The individual characteristics of your case such as how long it will take you to gather your medical evidence and ensure you can present a complete application
- The location where you will file your application and their backlogs
- Applying for both SSDI and SSI can potentially result in additional delays in your file
- How long it may take to get a disability hearing and the administrative court backlog
What can a disability lawyer do for you
Here is what a disability attorney may do to help you speed up (to a certain extent) your disability claim:
- Help you gather your medical records
- Help you gather all the required evidence
- Provide you with support in completing your disability application
- Act as your legal representative in your communications with the Social Security Administration
- Provide you with legal support to contest an SSA decision
- Provide you with legal support in preparing your appeal and going through a disability appeal hearing
You can check out our article on what does a disability lawyer do to learn more about the value a disability lawyer may bring to the table.
So how long does it take to get disability with a lawyer?
As you can see from what we’ve outlined in this article, your disability benefits process may take, in the best-case scenario, one month to get approved and potentially up to three years it goes all the way to appeal.
Your lawyer can help you handle your application more effectively and avoid mistakes that can cost you additional time but will not significantly reduce the disability application review process.
The delays are largely due to the Social Security Administration backlogs, the complexity of your case and if your case is denied at the SSA level need to be presented to an administrative judge.