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How Long Does It Take to Get Social Security Disability in California?

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If you or someone you know has suffered a disability that prevents or diminishes your ability to work, you may be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Generally speaking, social security pays monthly benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more due to their disability. Our Roseville Social Security disability attorneys can help you better understand whether you qualify and how to move forward.

Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability

There are many factors that determine how long it will take for you to receive social security benefits in California. Before you can start receiving payments, you must meet all of the eligibility requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These requirements are as follows:

  • Your disability must be significant enough that it affects your ability to do basic work-related tasks.
  • Your disability must have lasted at least one year or is projected to last for at least one year.
  • The disability must prevent you from earning a certain amount, which is determined by the Social Security Administration. This is known as your “substantial gainful activity” level.

Additionally, you must have also worked for a certain number of years and have paid social security taxes during that time. The number of required years of work is based on your age and when you became disabled.

How long does it take to get Social Security disability in California?

How Long Does It Take to Get Social Security Disability in California?

In total, it takes about three to five months to make a decision regarding your disability. Legally, a minimum of five months must pass before you receive your first payment. So, you can expect your first payment to be made about six months after it began. If your payments are delayed or you’re experiencing issues, do not hesitate to reach out to our skilled Social Security legal team for help.

How Is Disability Defined?

Sometimes, the term “disability” is open to interpretation. A doctor recommending that you take time off work does not necessarily mean that you qualify for disability benefits. If you do not feel well enough to work, that does not automatically qualify you either. The Social Security Administration must agree that your disability is legitimately preventing you from working. For this reason, the SSA uses its own medical professionals and examiners to evaluate your disability.

If your claim is denied, there is a chance of getting the decision reversed through an appeal. Fortunately, many people are able to win if they appear in court for their appeal. Generally speaking, you will have to appear to present additional evidence of your disability and why you deserve benefits.

The Process of Applying for Social Security Disability

The process of determining social security benefits can be extensive. There are a number of steps in the process, all of which can affect how long it takes for your benefits to become active. In California, the California Disability Determination Service Division, a division of the Department of Social Services in California, handles the initial determination of your claim. An examiner will view your medical records to determine if you qualify for benefits.

The Social Security Disability Insurance process begins after you apply for benefits. Once your application is received, a representative will contact you for an in-person interview. Once you complete the interview, the representative will complete your paperwork and send it to the state agency. Here, it will be given to a disability claims examiner.

The examiner will then review your case. They will obtain your medical records from your doctor or the hospital you were treated at. This part of the process can take weeks or even months to complete.

Once these records are obtained, the examiner will work with a medical professional to make some determinations. These determinations include:

  • Whether or not your test results meet disability requirements
  • Your past work and skills
  • Your physical and mental limitations
  • If you can return to work with your disability
  • If you are able to do other types of work

Medical records and work history are the two most important factors when determining disability. They are both key to proving your case. They are both unbiased forms of information helping to prove your status. You should also note that in California, there are additional benefits available to help supplement social security disability benefits. These include Medicaid, employer-based benefits, and short-term disability benefits.


Q: How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for Social Security Disability in California?

A: It takes three to five months to get approved for social security disability in California. After you apply for benefits, a representative will contact you for an interview. After the interview is completed, your case will be sent to an examiner who will review its details. This review portion will likely take the longest.

Q: What’s the Fastest You Can Get Approved for Disability?

A: There is no “fastest time” you can get approved for disability. The average time it takes for a decision to be made is three to five months. However, there are some people who get decisions made sooner than this and others who have to wait much longer. If your disability is on the approved list of disabilities and the medical records are readily available, you will likely get a decision faster.

Q: How Long Does a California Disability Claim Take?

A: The amount of time to complete a disability claim in California varies based on a number of factors. It can generally take just a few months if you apply in a timely fashion, have your interview, submit all necessary documentation, and then get approved. However, if you are denied and have to appeal the case, it will take a bit longer.

Q: What Is the Maximum Back Pay for SSDI?

A: Typically speaking, the maximum back pay for SSDI benefits is twelve months before the date of the application. This does not include the five-month waiting period. Back pay is calculated by determining the monthly amount you are entitled to and multiplying it by the number of months within the back pay period.

Contact a Roseville Social Security Disability Attorney Today

If you need help with your social security disability claim in California, our skilled social security lawyers at Gade & Parekh, LLP, are ready to support you. We can assist you through the legal process and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for more information.

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