For most individuals who file for disability, the road to Social Security or SSI disability benefits is a long one. Many applicants will experience financial hardships and mental duress due to a lack of income and the time it takes to receive an initial Social Security disability decision. Because disability claims can get stalled during the Social Security disability determination process, it is a good idea to check the status of your disability claim now and then. Sometimes a timely call by the disability applicant can lead to an action being taken on a disability claim.
For example, if you filed an initial disability claim a few months ago, and you haven't heard from the state disability examiner in charge of making your disability claim decision, it's a good idea to check on the status of your claim. It is possible that your claim somehow got lost in the shuffle and is still sitting at the local Social Security office, or that there has already been a decision made and for some reason you haven't received the decisional notice. This is particularly important if the disability decision was a denial, because the appeal period begins with date of the denial notice and ends 65 days later. These are just some of the reasons for checking the status of a disability claim.
You can check the status of your Social Security disability claim by:
- contacting your local Social Security office
- checking online with your Social-Security-issued password on the Social Security website (if you applied online)
- contacting the disability examiner who is working on your disability claim
- calling the hearing office if you are awaiting a disability appeal hearing.
The Social Security office where you filed an application for disability benefits will often be unable to tell you much regarding the progress or status of your disability claim, unless it got stuck at that office. Generally, your claim will have been sent to Disability Determination Services (DDS) soon after you apply. Calling DDS to get an update from the claims examiner assigned to either your claim is typically the most effective way to gather information about what is happening on your SSD or SSI claim, assuming you aren't waiting for an appeal. To get the number for your state's DDS office(s), visit our state-by-state disability information pages: DDS phone numbers by state.
If you have requested an appeal hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ), you should contact the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) office in your state. For these phone numbers, you can visit the page: ODAR phone numbers by state.
Of course, if you are represented by a disability attorney, the lawyer can do a status check for you. Most disabilty lawyers will perform regular status checks at certain intervals during the processing of your claim.