Whether you have filed for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (or both), you know that you’re in for a long wait. At best, you could be looking at roughly seven months to get a decision. The wait can be much longer if your claim is denied and you have to file an appeal.
A lot can happen during that time, and it’s not uncommon for SSDI and SSI applicants to have unstable living situations because of their health and economic conditions. Despite those issues, however, it’s essential to keep in touch with the Social Security Administration (SSA) the entire time your claim is pending. Here’s why:
1. You may be asked to provide additional medical release forms.
Once your claim is sent to the state Disability Determination Services (DDS), the claims examiner and their team will start to gather any medical information necessary to evaluate your condition. That may take additional medical release forms from you. If they can’t find you to get them, your claim could easily be delayed – and it could be denied.
2. You may be asked to provide additional information about your situation.
Some disability claims require more information than what is gathered in the initial claims application. You may be sent forms to complete about your daily activities and prior work history so that those factors can be weighed into the evaluation of your claim. If you fail to respond, your claim can be denied.
3. You may be sent to a consultative examination by an independent physician.
It’s not uncommon for SSA to send claimants to independent physicians for a consultative exam. This is done whenever the medical information in a file is incomplete, unclear or contradictory. If you do not go to this exam, your claim will be decided without the additional information, and that’s probably not going to be in your favor.
Having an attorney guide you through the disability application process can make it easier to stay on track with all important communications with SSA.