The Social Security disability claims process can be long and arduous. Claimants should expect to wait at three to five months to receive a preliminary decision on their applications and up to 18 months to receive a hearing date. And, while the Social Security Administration (SSA) states on their website that claimants can check the status of their applications through their website or by calling a local Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency, they certainly do not encourage it. There are hundreds of thousands of claims waiting to be decided on in North Carolina. If you add to that an excessive amount of phone calls coming in from claimants who wish to check the status of their applications, you create an even bigger backlog. The good news is, if you are a client of Patton Brown Law, you can always obtain your Social Security disability status in North Carolina by calling our office. Our firm receives electronic status updates right from the SSA.
Below are some of the factors that can affect the decision time frame:
- The nature and severity of your disability;
- The rate at which the SSA obtains medical evidence from your doctors and other medical sources;
- Whether or not the SSA schedules you for a medical examination; and
- Whether or not the SSA reviews your application for quality purposes.
How do I learn the Status of my Disability Claim in North Carolina?
As we mentioned above, you can check the status of your claim by visiting the SSA’s Application Status Information page and entering your Social Security number and confirmation number. At least five days must have passed since you submitted your initial application in order to request the status of your claim.
If your claim is at the initial application level, you can call the DDS and speak with the disability examiner overseeing your claim. You will want to call the local DDS; you can obtain the agency’s number by calling your local SSA office. When you speak to the examiner, you can ask about the status of your claim. He or she will be able to tell if your case is pending or if a decision has been made. The examiner cannot, however, tell you what the final decision was, i.e., whether your application was approved or denied. If the claim is still pending, you may ask if there is anything you can do to expedite the decision. Usually, there is not. In most cases, the agency is just awaiting medical records from your physicians.
What are Disability Claim Status Sheets?
Attorneys who assist clients with disability claims are given direct access to claim status sheets. You will not need to request the status of your claim with the SSA or DDS; rather, your attorney will keep you informed at all times. For a free consultation with a disability lawyer in Winston-Salem, Elkin or Statesville, contact Patton Brown Law today at 855-860-2150.