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How quickly can my Social Security disability claim be approved?

Yes your Social Security Disability claim can be approved very quickly.  I have had client’s approved within 30-45 days.  In fact, I just received an approval letter, on an initial claim filed May 11th, dated June 12th.  That is 32 calendar days and 21 business days and a very relieved client.  It is not unheard of or even rare.  Despite popular belief, Social Security wants to approve any claim they can at the initial and reconsideration levels.

How do you get approved that quickly?

1. Provide detailed and consistent information in your application.  While not every claim can be decided quickly, you do not want to lose your opportunity by leaving something out or giving Social Security contradicting or confusing information.

2.  If your case is terminal (expected to result in death, even if it is not immediate), meets a listing, or is one of the 165 compassionate allowances tell Social Security in your application.  Not once, not twice, but at every opportunity.  This includes when you talk to someone from Social Security.  Tell them “I have metastasized cancer”.  Social Security can miss these flags and reminding them will help to make sure your case is properly expedited.  When I talk to Social Security for my clients, I confirm with Social Security that each claim has been properly flagged.  I flag many all Stage III and Stage IV cancers as terminal automatically, regardless of prognosis.

3.  Do not list your symptoms as what is disabling you, list the conditions you have been diagnosed with.  I see many initial applications where a claimant states that they are disabled by back pain, knee pain, and trouble breathing.  When in fact the claimant has Degenerative arthritis, herniated disks with nerve impingement, and COPD.  By listing your conditions, you are tipping off those reviewing you claim to look for specific information in your records and specific tests.

4) Probably the number one thing you can do to speed up your claim is to give Social Security with your medical records with your application.  Depending on your claim, you may not need all of your records, only specific laboratory tests or findings that indicate the severity of your claim, like the pathology report showing you have cancer.  Even if you have a claim that may need to go to hearing  to be approved, by providing any medical records you can to Social Security will significantly speed up your claim at the initial and reconsideration levels.

So yes, Social Security can make a decision on your claim in a very short time.  But to do so, you must properly present your case from the moment you apply.  Do not wait longer, sometimes years,  for your benefits when you do not have to.  I can help you determine if your case is likely to be approved at the initial or reconsideration levels and can take the burden of applying and dealing with Social Security off your shoulders.


  1. Hey I applied for ssi for depression n a blood disorder. I was denied. So im going to appeal for a reconsideration. Will it help me get approve if I provide new medical records. N how long is this gonna take I waited 7 month just to find out I was ddenied. ..

    1. Yes, you should provide any records you have to SSA. Many times SSA does not get records from doctors in a timely manner and makes decisions without them. Providing records will also speed up the decision making process. But, be warned that approval during reconsideration is very low and your likely to be denied and need to go to hearing. A wait for hearing can take up to a year or more.

  2. I was approved for disability in one month.I have had cancer in 5 different places at different times.I am suppose to be ok for now.Does this mean my doctors think it may come back?

  3. Hi Erin,
    Thanking you for creating this forum.

    When I was 11 months old a car ran over me and broke my arm causing 3rd degree burns on 1/2 of my body. I recovered from the burns but my arm gets worse every year. In 2003 I was injured while working on a house when a scaffolding fell off the roof onto me and I went to the hospital for slipped discs in my lower back and broken ribs. I broke my leg when I was 5 and was in traction for 2 months but the worst harm I have had to deal with was being shot in the head and through the shoulder at point blank range when two men robbed me and stole my car at a store 9 years ago. I have had nearly $150,000 in operations and reconstructive surgeries. I have had follow up surgeries because of infections forming, my teeth are loose on one side of my mouth which was wired shut for 3 months. The state payed for the hospital expenses because I was a victim of a crime but the two men were never caught. Currently I don’t have insurance and am in quite a bit of pain with severe migraines, memory issues, back issues, and I no longer feel my elbow and two fingers from breaking my arm because of nerve damage. I was told the nerve would continually get worse from rubbing over the elbow. I had two surgeries on it in high school but they could not fix it. I have never applied for benefits, food stamps,etc. but it seems like everyday is getting worse. I’m not sure if my problems and symptoms are significant enough but I saw your thread and would like your opinion if you have time.
    Thank you,

    1. Sorry for my late reply. It is possible that our conditions could be severe enough for disability. Eligibility is based not just on medical factors but also non-medical factors (for which programs you may be eligible for). The thing to remember is that you need to show to SSA how the combination of your conditions prohibits you from doing working related activities on a sustained basis.

  4. I Had Mantel Exam on the April 08 2015 I would like to know how long will it take to get an decision?

  5. What about the hours you are currently working? I was told by a SS advocate that you can’t work more than 20 Hr pr week. My job I work 16 one week and 24 the next so that puts me over the allotted amount. There isn’t any less hours available, and being single I can’t quit and have no income. I have stage 4 CKD with fatigue and chronic pain from the waist down, they can’t figure out what is causing the pain and might have to go to a neurologist.

    1. It is not the number of hours, but the amount you are making. SGA for 2017 is $1170 gross (before taxes) per month. What I find is the closer you are to making that amount, the harder it will be to convince the judge you are disabled. Of course, cases do vary wildly, so that is just a general rule of thumb.
      What this means is that someone making a high dollar per hour wage, but not working very much can still be over SGA and thus not disabled, but a person making minimum wage can be working close to 30 hours a week and still disabled.

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