Social Security takes a long time to process disability benefit cases. Here is how to check the status of your claim.
Initial applications for disability benefits:
Social Security has a webpage at http://ssa.gov/claimstatus/ which lets you check your status. Unfortunately, you will probably receive this message:
The following statements are informational only. They are current as of today. You will receive the official notice of any decision made on your claim by U.S. mail. As of today’s date, a decision has not been made on your application. If you need more information, you may call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). SSA representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Other than confirming that there is a claim pending, this doesn’t tell you very much. Fortunately, you can get more information by calling Social Security directly.
- You local Social Security office can tell you if any additional information is needed before your case is transferred to Disability Determination Services for a medical review.
- Once your case is moved to Disability Determination Services, you will receive forms to be completed about your disability. These are accompanied by a cover letter with the name of your case manager and usually their direct telephone number.
Cases pending a Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge:
After the “Request for Hearing” appeal is filed, the case is moved to a Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The ODAR office sends out a notice, once the file arrives there, listing the mailing address, telephone and fax numbers. If you lose the notice, you can also contact the local Social Security office to obtain contact information for the hearing office.
You can call the ODAR office to check the status of your case. However, the clerk handling calls can provide limited information. They may be able to tell you the status of the case, what information it is currently waiting on, and the current wait times. However, Social Security will not be able to give you “hint” of what the outcome of the case will be.
Now this should go without saying, but don’t be a jerk when you call. The Social Security agent will provide all the information they can. Each moment on the phone takes time away from processing cases. So, be nice. They really are doing their best.