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California Woman's SSD Claim Illustrates Common Problems with Social Security Administration

The story of a 60-year-old woman in Orange County, California, and her efforts to obtain Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits when she could no longer work illustrates the need for patience, persistence and help when applying for benefits.

After she became unable to work, the first step was determining what her impairments were. She reported visiting around 40 doctors, but no one could give her a confirmed diagnosis. She had breathing problems, pain in her extremities, difficulty walking, memory problems and numbness. But no one could figure out what was wrong. However, taken together, her individual impairments were eventually determined to prevent her from working, and she prevailed. But it took time.

How long does it take for an application for SSD benefits to be approved? Like so many other things, it depends. Read on to learn about why the length of time it takes varies.

Reasons why SSD can take a long time include:

  • Incomplete applications. Getting all the medical and employment information and documents required by the Social Security administration can take a long time.
  • Slow doctors' offices.Doctors do not always supply needed records in a timely way, adding to the time it takes to make an initial claim. People who file without all the needed documentation because of medical office delays are more likely to be turned down.
  • Unusual or complex impairments. Because the Orange County woman did not have a definite diagnosis, her application took longer. In fact, it was initially denied altogether, something that happens to the majority of applicants.
  • Initial denial.Keeping a claim alive after an initial denial takes many months - sometimes even years. Some people wait as long as 19 months just to get a hearing after an initial denial. That's 19 months when they are not receiving benefits.

The woman in Orange County was lucky. The minimum average wait time nationally among the regional offices is seven months, according to the story in the Orange County Register. The Orange County eight month wait time makes this a good place to be if you are applying for SSD.

Why does Orange County have such as stellar timeline for processing SSD claims? First of all, the county doesn't have that many claims overall, compared to other locations. Second, staff and judges are relatively experienced. These two factors, and some others, have been important in reducing the wait time for SSD applications from 14.5 months in 2007 to the current eight months.

If you are experiencing problems with your application for Social Security Disability benefits, get help and do what so many like you have done: Call Binder & Binder®, America's most successful Social Security Disability benefits. Having assistance does not guarantee a significant reduction in the waiting time, but it does mean that your claim will be complete and the deadlines and requirementswill be met - things that hold up many SSD claims.

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