When you can’t work because of injury or illness, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. Once you’ve applied for benefits, you will typically have to wait approximately eight months before receiving any decision. If your application is approved, you will receive benefits retroactively to the date of your application, then monthly thereafter. However, more than two of every three applications for SSDI benefits are initially rejected.
If your initial claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal for reconsideration. That must be done within 60 days of the notice of denial of your initial application. You can typically expect a decision on the reconsideration in 4-12 weeks. If your appeal for reconsideration is denied (approximately 70% are), you have the right to appeal to an administrative law judge. If your claim goes this far, you can expect to wait anywhere from 12 to 18 months for a final adjudication.