When people can no longer work but are too young to retire, they may require support. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits help protect working adults from financial devastation if their health prevents them from working.
Workers in Ohio who have made enough contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA) previously can potentially qualify for SSDI benefits when they have a long-lasting medical condition that prevents them from continuing their work.
While some people with disabling medical conditions receive prompt approval when they apply for benefits, others face an uphill battle after an initial denial of benefits. If someone has to appeal, they may have to wait substantially longer when they are already without income. How long does an SSDI appeal typically take for a worker in Ohio?
Reconsideration can be quick
The degree of appeal necessary will determine how long it takes for a worker to finally get benefits. Reconsideration is an internal process at the SSA that involves having a new worker review the same information and possibly some supplemental documents. If your application is one of the few approved via reconsideration, the delay might be less than a month.
Hearings take longer
If reconsideration does not lead to benefits, then the next stage of appeal will be a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). You can present evidence and hopefully convince them that your condition is severe enough and your background qualifies you for benefits. According to self-reported data as of May 2022, the average wait time for a hearing in front of an ALJ during an SSDI appeal through the Columbus SSA office is approximately 8.5 months.
If you require additional appeals, it may take many months or well over a year before you complete the process. That might mean a dozen months or more with no income while waiting for the SSA to make a decision in your favor. The good news is that if they approve you during one of those appeal stages, you can receive backdated benefits. They may pay you starting when you first qualified after applying.
Understanding more about appeals for SSDI benefits can help you prepare for the sometimes lengthy process of obtaining them.