There are plenty of myths floating around about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Some of these myths are entirely false, but some of those myths have a basis in reality.
For example, you may have heard that many applicants for Social Security benefits are denied. That is actually true. It can be very difficult for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to process every individual claim quickly and accurately. Sometimes they make mistakes. Other times, people applying don’t give enough of an explanation of their disability in their initial paperwork.
If the SSA denies your claim and you appeal, you may have to wait for a hearing before you finally get benefits. How long will you likely have to wait for such a hearing?
Local offices align with the national average
Different SSA offices have different average processing times for applications and different wait times for those waiting for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The average wait time ranges from around half a year to almost two years, and even longer sometimes.
Many SSA offices in California fall in the middle of that spread. Long Beach has an SSA office with an average wait time of 12 months. There are two SSA offices in Los Angeles, both with similar average wait times. In other words, you can expect a delay of about a year before you have a hearing on denied benefits.
If you’re hearing is successful, you can expect to receive benefits, possibly backdated to when you first applied or qualified after your application date. Getting legal help with preparing for an appeals hearing can increase your chances of getting the SSDI benefits you need because of a disabling medical condition.