How Long Does it Take to Get Disability Approval Letter in 2023

The inability to work due to a handicap may cause worry and anxiety. Social Security disability benefits may alleviate financial constraints, but it may take some time before you hear back from the government regarding your first application or appeal.

According to SSA, getting a disability approval letter may take three to five months. There are factors that will increase this wait time.

When you understand the process, it will ease the concerns during the wait time. If you contact and engage an experienced disability advocate, you may rely on a disability expert to take all required steps to fasten your approval process.

The time it takes for your disability claim to be granted or denied depends on the facts of your case. It takes about three to five months to even get a response.

In this article, we will walk you through; how long does it take to get a disability approval letter and the factors you should know about the process.

How do They make Social Security decisions?

Two of the SSA’s disability-related programs are Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance.

The SSI program is for those with little or no income and insufficient finances to meet their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and other basics.

And the SSDI program is for those who have paid Social Security taxes on earnings from a job or self-employment for a long enough period to be eligible for SSDI benefits.

Below, we will answer the question, how long does it take to get a disability approval letter.

This is for students: Full Guide on Disability Insurance as a Student: How to Apply and Get One

What is the Method of Application?

You must first file an application online or in person at your local SSA office. They also take applications over the phone. Dial 1-800-772-1213, their toll-free number, and someone will call you.

In addition to your personal information, the SSA’s application forms will request the following:

  • Your constraints (the more detailed, the better)
  • Treatment options
  • Any information concerning your alleged impairment

Of course, you will need to present medical documents to verify your disability. This might include medical reports, records, and the most recent test results.

A Social Security field office receives an application for either SSI or SSDI. It reviews it to validate non-medical eligibility, including SSI applicants’ income and resources and SSDI applicant’s employment history.

The applications are sent to a Disability Determination Service office, a federally-funded state institution.

If you meet the medical standards for SSI or SSDI, the DDS evaluates your application. They review your medical records and schedule a consultation examination with the doctor who treated you or another healthcare practitioner if necessary.

The DDS employees then choose to accept or reject the claim.

This is the first indication of impairment.

How long does it take to get a disability approval letter?

In this section, you will get an answer to the question, how long does it take to get disability approval letter.

Even though Social Security expects that you will get notice of an initial disability determination within three to five months, a delay may arise for the following reasons:

  • The time it takes hospitals and other healthcare providers to respond to DDS requests for copies of your medical records.
  • Missing planned appointments for a consultation exam set up by DDS.
  • Refusing to respond to DDS requests for clarification on the application or schedule a consultation exam.

A disability advocate ensures that Social Security letters are quickly responded to and that consultation examination appointments are not missed.

He will also work with your medical providers to facilitate the supply of medical evidence supporting your claim for benefits.

These all join to determine how long it takes to get disability approval letter.

What if my Application Gets a Rejection?

If the SSA denies your disability claim and you disagree with their explanation, you have the opportunity to file an appeal. The difficult part is figuring out how to write a winning appeal letter that persuades them to reexamine your case.

The rationale for the SSA’s rejection of your claim and the sources used to research your claim are often mentioned in the decision notice. It will also advise you on the appropriate degree of appeal to pursue and how to file an appeal.

The appeals procedure consists of four steps:

  • Reconsideration
  • A hearing before an administrative law judge
  • The review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal court review

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If your first application was denied, you might still seek reconsideration.

According to SSA data, the reconsideration process normally takes more than 100 days.

First, you must submit the reconsideration application as well as new medical documents (if any).

After that, the DDS will assign your case to a different disability examiner who was not involved in the earlier determination. The SSA will then forward your application to the DDS. The examiner goes through the case file and, if required, may request more medical evidence.

If you could not see the doctor on the initial visit, they may refer you to an SSA doctor. The examiner will review the previous decision and consider the new medical evidence. Whether approved or denied, you will get the decision online or via mail.

You may also check your SSA account for updates.


If you do not get disability compensation after seeking a reconsideration, your disability advocate may request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). At this point, you must appear in court to defend your claim before an administrative law judge.

Because of the request, your claim is assigned to one of the hearing facilities around the country.

Based on your performance, the ALJ will either uphold or reverse the DDS’s decision.

Depending on how busy a hearing centre is, it might take five to fifteen months to acquire a hearing date.

Wait periods for ALJ hearings vary by state. However, it is not uncommon to take a year or two.

Following that, decision writers will draft the decision, which might take many months. You will get an acceptance or rejection message through mail or online.

If you do not get a disability approval level at the hearing level, the Appeals Council will review your case next stage in the appeals system. A decision letter takes about a year to issue, but if it is negative, your next appeal stage is federal court action, which may take a long time to resolve.

Tips/Suggestions for Quick Approval

A few recommendations may help you get a response from the SSA concerning your disability claim faster.

Here are some ideas to help you complete your application quickly and this will minimise the asking of the question how long does it take to get a disability approval letter;

  • Display ALL medical evidence: Make the disability examiner wait while you collect your medical documents and supporting documentation. Please include all of your medical documents with your application.
  • Include all your physicians on your application: Include the names and contact information for all the doctors you’ve visited and the dates of appointments. This may make it simpler for the SSA to contact your doctors and arrange for medical care.
  • Gather letters from your doctors: a letter from your doctor explaining your ailment and any symptoms interfering with your capacity to work. Collect letters from as many doctors as possible. Include these with your application.
  • Monitor the progress of your claim: Maintain your application. The SSA may request further documents or evidence. The later you give this to them, the longer it will take to process your claim.
  • Consider working with a lawyer: A lawyer or disability advocate may be informed about filing disability claims. They can assist you in obtaining the evidence you need to establish your claim and will be aware of the proof.

There are requirements in Florida. How To Apply For Disability In Florida.


You must draft a disability appeal letter if your first claim for disability payments was denied.

Before writing the letter of disability appeal, find out the following:


As previously indicated, the SSA’s decision notice will explain the reasons for its rejection of your claim. Consequently, you must carefully review their decision and understand why you were refused disability compensation.

It will help you build a solid defence for your position.

The SSA often rejects disability claims on non-medical or medical grounds. It might, however, be owing to both. This is usually mentioned plainly and simply in the notice.

2. List the limitations that the SSA evaluated.

If you have many disabilities, the SSA may be unable to examine each one. You will also include the SSA’s assessments of disability in the notice. In your appeal letter, you must highlight any limits they overlooked.


The SSA will also provide the sources it utilized to analyze your claim. You may also reference them in your letter or have more trustworthy sources if you disagree with them.


1. At the top of the page, write your name and claim number.

Your name and other information will be on the SSA appeal form already. However, the accompanying letter often separates from the forms.

If you put your name and claim number at the top of the letter, SSA staff can more readily distinguish which letter goes with which form.

2. Draw attention to any mistakes or omissions.

You must include any inaccuracies or information the SSA may have missed in your letter.

Describe the paragraph and line on the notice where the error may be noticed in as much detail as possible.

3. Supply any Missing Medical Information

If the Social Security Administration neglected any medical information and your claim was denied on medical grounds, you must give it if any. Just make sure you have enough supporting evidence.

4. Add any more proof, such as medical documents.

To make your appeal seem more legitimate, you must provide supporting documents. This might include:

  • medical evidence showing you have a more severe illness than the SSA believes;
  • your doctor’s most recent medical proof indicating a deterioration of your ailment;
  • a written statement from your treating physician explaining your illness and particular limits;
  • current medical test findings indicating the severity of your condition;
  • any further documents supporting your claim

5. Be Direct

Because there are hundreds of appeals to handle, you must ensure that your message is as concise as possible. Keep your argument brief and exclude any irrelevant information to your appeal.

6. Use The Most Detail possible

Despite being brief, you should provide as much information as possible. Your argument will be more appealing if you have supporting facts.

Age is not a constraint. How To Apply For Social Security Benefits At Age 62.

7. Be professional and Elegant

Remember that you are the one making the request. As a consequence, writing your letter with kindness and politeness is advantageous. Also, make sure your letter sounds and seems professional.

It should be written on blank paper (typewritten or computerized, if possible). If you’re writing it by hand, try to make as few mistakes as possible.

Sending the Appeal Letter

Send the letter and any appropriate papers and attachments to the address specified in the appeals instructions. You may also submit an appeal with the SSA via their website. However, you may bring them to a local SSA office in person.

Remember that you have 60 days to submit a written appeal from the day you receive the notice summarizing the SSA’s decision.

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These are the sample appeal letters.

Sample 1

Social Security Administration
3201 W Commercial Blvd STE 100,
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Attn: Appeals Department

To Whom It May Concern:

Good day!

I write this appeal letter in response to the denial of my application for disability benefits. Although I respect your decision, I am requesting my application be reconsidered.

On July 2, 2019, I was involved in a work-related accident on-site. I underwent multiple surgeries. After a month, I tried going back to work, but the injury prevented me from fulfilling my job. I had headaches, blurred vision, and joint pain, which made it impossible to do my tasks properly. My employer reassigned me to an office-based position, but the symptoms persisted. This made the employer let me go on August 10, 2019.

I tried applying for other jobs, but my condition makes even driving to work a struggle.
I am sending my insurance and medical history attached to this letter. This includes my recent medical records, operation appointments, treatments, and medications.

There are also notarized letters from my general physician and two surgeons. They attest to my inability to function in an office environment. I am prepared to take any tests necessary to this effect.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Best Regards,
John Smith

Sample 2

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Dear Mr. Hardisen,

I write this disability appeal letter in regard to your company’s recent denial of benefits. I am unsure what lead to this decision but I have produced more than enough medical documentation to prove my case.

On January 4, 2012, I was involved in a work-related accident on-site. I went through three surgeries. I went back to work but was unable to fulfil my obligations because of pains and broken body parts. This made it impossible to handle the loads. My employer reassigned me to a more subtle workload but my health deteriorated causing me to be hospitalized again for almost one year. This led to my employer letting me go in April 2014.

I am asking that Linden Insurance reconsider its decision. I have attached every necessary evidence u may need to evaluate. These include all medical records from my doctors during my stay in the hospital. And I am prepared to take any tests needed to substantiate this.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,
Mallory Pineda


FAQs on how long does it take to get disability approval letter

Do I automatically qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

No, Social Security’s disability requirements vary from most other programs. Social Security, for example, does not compensate for partial disability.

How long does it take to make a decision?

Typically, a decision is secured in 3 to 5 months. The exact period will depend on how long it takes to get your medical records and any further supporting evidence.

How does Social Security make its decision?

We will transmit your application to a state authority that makes disability decisions. The state has medical and vocational professionals who contact your doctors and other treatment institutions to get your medical information. The state agency may need you to submit papers or to take tests or exams. If the state requires you to take an exam, be sure you keep your appointment. Any exam or test administered by a state agency shall be free.

What benefits am I entitled to if Social Security determines that I am disabled?

Both Social Security disability compensation systems include insured employees, disabled surviving spouses, and disabled children (under the age of 22) of disabled, retired, or deceased workers. Social Security Disability Insurance is the first program (SSDI). • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), accessible to persons with little or no income and few resources.

Will they keep my personal information safe?

Yes. Social Security protects the privacy of every individual we serve. As a Federal agency, we are required by the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 522a) to secure the information we receive from you.

What if I speak more naturally in a language other than English?

You should bring a friend or family member who can translate for you. We provide free translation services while you handle Social Security concerns. However, we must make prior agreements with the translator.

Where can I find out more?

You may reach us at 1-800-772-1213, visit our website at, or ask the interviewer at your appointment (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY 1-800-325-0778).


These are the steps that answers the question; how long does it take to get disability approval letter?

We hope you enjoyed reading. Get back to us in the comment section if this guide is helpful.



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