When people living in Indiana apply for disability benefits, they are often concerned about the time it will take to receive a decision about their case. There are multiple factors that can affect the timeline of a Social Security disability application. These include the nature of the disability, how well the disability is documented and whether the case must be decided via hearing.

After an individual submits a Social Security Disability application, he or she can usually expect to receive a decision in 120 days or less. It should be noted, however, that about 70% of initial applications are denied. As a result, applicants who still want to attempt to qualify for benefits will have to enter an appeals process. The first step in this process is submitting a request for reconsideration of the application. If this is denied, and over 80% of these requests for reconsideration will be, the applicant can request a hearing.

The importance of the hearing in the disability benefits application process cannot be overstated. It is at the hearing that the applicant will be able to meet face-to-face with the judge overseeing his or her case. This allows for direct interactions so that questions can be asked and answered, providing the judge with a complete picture of the applicant’s situation. Unfortunately, it may take a significant amount of time to schedule a disability hearing. In some cases, the time between initial application and approval for benefits can be well over a year.

The good news is that persistence often pays off. Approximately 60% of individuals who attend a disability hearing with an attorney will eventually be awarded benefits. People filing applications for benefits may benefit from consulting with an experienced lawyer for guidance throughout the process.