For the last couple of decades, I would advise new social security disability clients to expect it to take about six to seven months to receive the initial decision in the application process. However, waiting times at all stages of the application process have been steadily increasing.
I represent a 56 year old former cafeteria worker with orthopedic and emotional problems whose SSD benefits were approved today. It took almost nine months, a nearly 50% increase in time, to get the decision, even though there were no novel or unusual medical or vocational issues.
There is no indication that the number of people processing SSD claims has been reduced, or that the number of applications has recently increased. To the contrary, the number of claim filed has been decreasing since the middle of 2010. The question is why is it taking longer to get decisions?
It appears that the delays are intentional. The government’s own statistics, show that approval rates have decreased from 63% to 45%. There have been Congressional hearings to investigate fraudulent disability applicants. How about Congressional hearings to investigate the delays.