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How disability applications are decided

After filing for a Social Security disability benefits claim, an applicant in Pennsylvania may receive a notice of denial. In some cases, the notices will come relatively quickly, but that isn't an indication of how strong they are. Instead, it is a measure of how fast an examiner was able to review the medical information an applicant supplied. As a general rule, examiners try to get through a case as quickly as possible, but there is no deadline to do so.

It is also important to consider that the strength of the records received could be a factor in how long a case is processed. If an examiner can make a decision based on what hospitals or other treatment providers have sent in, an application will be approved or denied immediately. However, if more information is needed, the examiner will simply need to wait until it comes in to determine if an applicant qualifies for benefits.

An applicant should expect for treatment providers to take several weeks to respond for a request for information. In many cases, doctors and hospitals will do so faster than this. Regardless, the decision to approve or deny an application is always based on the strength of the case an applicant puts together as opposed to how long it takes to process.

To receive Social Security disability benefits, the applicant needs to show evidence of being disabled. While it is possible to work while obtaining assistance, those who can obtain a gainful living generally won't qualify. An attorney may be able to help an individual verify that he or she has a mental or physical disability that makes working impossible. As a general rule, an application is more likely to be approved after a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

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