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Your Path to Disability Income

If you’re no longer able to work because of serious medical issues, the wait to see if you’re approved for Social Security Disability income can seem to stretch forever.

It’s difficult enough dealing with your health problems. Now you’re facing a financial emergency, too. You need disability benefits to steady your life as soon as possible. Knowing how long you may wait can help you plan and cope.

If you’re filing for disability benefits for the first time, statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA) show the average wait nationally is 2 to 4 months from the time you apply until your receive a decision on your original application. At our law firm serving people in Charleston and around South Carolina, we typically see decisions within six months.

But that might be just the beginning. If you’re denied benefits, you can—and probably should—appeal the decision, which takes longer.

At the Robertson Wendt Disability — Finkel Law Firm LLC, get started by having us give you an idea of what your specific application will take.

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South Carolina Man wonders if he qualifies for long-term Disability

Disability Benefits Wait Times in South Carolina

If your application is approved, Social Security has a built-in 5-month waiting period from the official onset date of your disability before your monthly checks start coming. (The “onset date,” determined by Social Security, is when your disability began.)

When you’re approved, you’ll get credit for time you’ve already waited, so you don’t have to wait five additional months.

When you’re denied , the process gets more complicated and drawn-out, and it becomes even more important to have an experienced disability lawyer guiding your claim.

Here’s the overview of the typical disability benefits timeline:

  • Initial Decision: 2-6 months
  • Start of Benefits if Approved: 5 months from onset date
  • Denial Reconsideration Decision on Average: 100 days
  • Wait for a Disability Hearing (Recent Average in the Charleston SSA Office): 19 months
  • Appeals Council Review: A few months to a year after hearing denial
  • Federal Court Review: Possibly years from your first application date

The process already takes too long. Avoid unnecessary additional delays by making sure your application information is correct and your medical evidence is complete.

Disability lawyer Robertson Wendt and his legal team can help you make smart decisions and present your best case to win Social Security Disability benefits in South Carolina.

Robertson Wendt is one of few attorneys in the state who has special certification in disability law. You don’t have to pay anything to get our office to evaluate your case.

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What Happens at Each Step of Appeals?

Most people are denied disability benefits on their initial claim, which means appealing and waiting longer for an answer. This is what happens at every step:

  • Reconsideration: Your original file goes to a different disability claims examiner for a fresh look. If denied again, you have 60 days to request a hearing.
  • Administrative Law Judge Hearing: A disability judge listens to your arguments for benefits and makes a new decision. This is your chance to speak face-to-face with an important decision-maker.
  • Appeals Council Review: A group at Social Security reviews the judge’s decision. You have 60 days from your ALJ denial to file for this review.
  • Federal Court Review: If you’re still denied, you can file a lawsuit against Social Security in federal court.

No one should wait through this process any longer than they have to.

Winning the fight for disability benefits isn’t easy. But Robertson Wendt can help you avoid mistakes and extra delays and help you at every step of the way.

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