The Social Security Administration (SSA) says that it typically takes them three to five months to evaluate your application for disability benefits, but if they have a difficult time getting your medical records or other evidence they need, the process could take much longer. A Texas disability attorney can review your application to make sure that it meets the SSA requirements and guide you through the process of going after disability benefits.

The Initial Decision From the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration does not actually evaluate your disability claim. The SSA sends your application to the Texas agency that does the legwork. The medical and vocational experts at this agency will contact your healthcare providers to collect your medical records. The agency usually sends applicant forms to sign and return to them, giving your healthcare providers permission to let the agency get a copy of your medical records.

How You Can Prevent Delays on Your Claim

After checking with your lawyer, be sure to complete all forms, like medical records authorizations, right away. Also, sometimes the state makes applicants get an examination by one of the agency’s doctors. They will not make you pay for the examination, but you do have to keep the appointment.

If you do not give the agency what it needs to make a decision about whether you are entitled to disability benefits, that will delay the processing of your claim. If you procrastinate too long or refuse to cooperate, that conduct can be grounds for the agency to deny your application for benefits.

Why the SSA Denies Most Claims

The vast majority of claims for Social Security disability benefits get denied. Applicants have to go through at least one appeal to get the assistance they deserve. You can reduce the likelihood of having these delays by being aware of the things that lead to denied claims and avoiding those situations, which include:

  • Incomplete application forms. If you leave part of the application blank or do not provide all of the data the agency requires, they can deny your request for disability benefits.
  • Insufficient evidence. You need to disclose the names and contact information of all of the healthcare providers who have information relevant to your claim. Also, you need to document your illness or injury with the kinds of evidence the state agency requires, like the appropriate laboratory tests, imaging studies (x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs), and other diagnostic procedures. A self-diagnosis is not sufficient.
  • You do not meet the eligibility requirements. No matter how severe your medical condition is, you must be entirely unable to support yourself through gainful employment because of your disability. If you make too much money, the agency can declare you ineligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits. If you did not pay enough Social Security taxes from your paychecks over the years, you will not qualify for SSDI. Too many assets can disqualify you for SSI benefits.

It can help to talk to a Texas disability attorney before you submit your application for SSDI or SSI benefits. If you already filed your application and it got denied, a lawyer can file an appeal for you. Contact our office today.