We’re sorry to report that neither we, not anyone else, can reveal one weird trick to speed up your Social Security disability claim in Ohio.

Most initial applications receive a decision after about 90 days. An appealed rejection receives a final ruling after about six months. We cannot change those usual timelines. As attorneys who have decades of combined experience helping people in and around Cleveland successfully navigate the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplement Security Income processes, though, we can offer tips to avoid undue delays.

Apply for the Right Benefits

SSDI benefits and SSI payments are available only to people who have paid into the Social Security system and to legal dependents of people who have paid into Social Security. Additionally, qualifying for SSDI benefits requires suffering from a physical or mental condition that has kept the applicant out of work for at least 12 months or which will probably prove fatal within two years. Qualifying for SSI payments almost always requires qualifying for SSDI benefits.

State and local government employees, state and local police and public safety employees, and public school employees in Ohio do not participate in Social Security. Applying for SSDI and SSI only makes sense for these individuals if they have held jobs outside the public sector. People who have never worked for private employers must apply to a program like the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System to obtain long-term disability benefits and supplemental income. Submitting an application to Social Security when it will automatically be rejected wastes time and effort.

Similar avoidable delays can plague individuals who suffer from short-term disabilities. Injuries or illnesses that keep people off the job for less than a year are best covered by workers’ compensation or private insurance.

Submit a Complete Application

Insufficient evidence for the existence of a Social Security disability-approved condition is the top reason SSDI applications get rejected.

We understand the urge to rush through applying. No one likes doing paperwork, and it is true that no benefits can be approved until an application is submitted. But sending in incomplete medical records or omitting requested forms will result in either an outright rejection or a request for the missing information. Trying to cut corners accomplishes nothing except lengthening the amount of time people go without receiving the federal long-term disability benefits they need.

Prepare to Appeal Quickly

Social Security rejects a large percentage of initial applications for SSDI benefits and SSI payments. Putting a plan in place to appeal as soon as possible cuts down on delays. Such a plan should include reading the rejection letter carefully, identifying the exact reason for the rejection, committing to addressing that specific reason, and filing an appeal within the deadline given in the letter.

Do Not Go It Alone

People who apply for SSDI benefits and SSI payments have undeniable rights to consult with and receive representation from a disability lawyer. Exercising those rights makes it easier to determine eligibility, obtain proof for the existence of a Social Security disability-approved condition, prepare and submit a complete application, and pursue appeals in a timely manner.

If you live in northeast Ohio and could use help dealing with Social Security, consider reaching out to an Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman attorney. We offer free consultations to potential clients, and we can travel to you if your health or other considerations make visiting us in person impractical. You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (800) 678-3318.