Individuals who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits generally have debilitating medical conditions that have eliminated their earning potential. These individuals may not have very much money in savings, which means that losing their primary source of income could be a major source of hardship.
Applying for SSDI benefits can lead to regular payments to help people cover their basic cost of living expenses. However, a significant portion of those who apply end up denied and must appeal to get benefits. How long can applicants expect the appeals process to take?
Connecticut applicants will wait roughly a year
The Social Security Administration (SSA) actually provides a statistical analysis of how it handles applications. From its report on how many applicants get approved to its analysis of appeals wait times, the SSA strives for transparency so that applicants can have as much information as possible.
The average wait time in the United States is currently a bit over a year. Applicants in Connecticut might have a chance to make their case in front of an administrative law judge a bit sooner than those in other states. Average wait times are different from office to office, but the two main offices in Connecticut report similar wait times currently. The SSA reports that recently, the New Haven and Hartford offices have both had a 12-month average wait for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
In other words, Connecticut applicants can anticipate waiting roughly a year between when they initiate an appeal and when they finally have a hearing in front of a judge. If that hearing is successful and they end up receiving benefits, they can receive a lump-sum payment for backdated benefits going to the date when they initially qualified after applying.
The possibility of receiving those benefits for those months of waiting is one of the reasons why appealing is often a better choice than simply reapplying after the SSA rejects someone’s initial application. Learning about the outcomes of other people’s SSDI benefit applications may help those contemplating applying feel more confident about their decision to appeal after seeking legal guidance.