The process for Social Security disabiilty is intentionally slow and cumbersome. 5 months is typical for a decison on your initial application. If denied, 18 to 20 months is the typical wait for a hearing. If the hearing results in a favorable decision, a wait of 2 to 4 months for payment processing is not unusual. Social Security is slow and deliberate because they fear fraud, they discourage frivilous claims or claims for short-term impairments; and frankly, they just as soon claimants drop out and give up. Those who persist--and persist effectively within the rules of the system--are the ones who get rewarded. This slow, deliberate process hurts claimants who have nothing but SSDI to depend on. There is no evidence that politicians want to streamline the system to make it quicker or easier. Just the opposite: every day new rules make it harder to get SSDI benefits. Waiting times and processing times get longer year by year. In 2010, the average wait time for a hearing was about 12 months. Now it is approaching 24 months. President Trump's 2019 Social Security budget proposes to eliminate the 10 prototype states and add the extra "Reconsideration" phase to appeals. This will add about 6 months of waiting time to get a hearing in those 10 states. And 7 out of 8 claims at "Reconsideration" will just be denied again. Just one example of how Social Security isn't really trying to expedite or streamline the way disability cases are decided. Voters should send a message to Congress that this is unacceptable and that we deserve and expect a reasonable, expedient process for making decisions on claims.
Not everybody is denied on 1st try - No lawyers are needed -
The SSA Compassionate Allownce list provides a quick determination as well as being being unable to work because you have been diagnosised with a terminal illness.
Then you have others who have suffered an accident leaving then totally and permanently disabled - with all the medical history, these also go through without too much extra effort.
Then others aren't so easy to substantiate however a well documented medical history of treatments and prognosis - maybe from more than one doctor and of course, any other places where the patient has gone for treatment, the nature of the treatment and what did or did not occur as a result of this.
This sort of thing needs to be determined by a medical panel and not a lawyer or a judge - with the claimant, or someone acting on their behalf, supplying all the medical history and prognosis included who treated them, where and why.