I have bills to pay now! If I decide to file a disability claim, how long will it take to get the first payment?

You were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease last summer and since then, your world has basically been falling apart. Between treatment, medications, and medical bills, you’re bank account is quickly becoming depleted. In addition to that, the shaking has gotten worse over the past six months, and it has gotten harder and harder for you to do your job properly.

You desperately need your paycheck, so you try to control your tremors as best you can. However, lately it hasn’t been going that well. Your family is constantly suggesting that you apply for disability, but with the number of bills coming in, you don’t think you can afford to quit your job and wait for the benefits.

If you file for disability, will it really take years to receive the benefits?

Do You Have the Time to Wait for Benefits?

The entire process of filing, getting approved, and eventually receiving your benefits can be long and frustrating. According to the Disability Determination Service, normal claims can take at least six months to determine. The decision process to determine whether your condition even qualifies for disability can take several months alone. If you’re approved, and the judge agrees that your condition is severe enough to qualify, it could take several additional months for your claim to pass through eligibility standards.

However, although the timeframe may seem daunting, there are ways to speed up the outcome. Having experienced legal representation to argue your case can be an important asset. When you have representation, the timeframes are drastically reduced, as seen below:


It generally at least three months for processing a claim. The majority of claims filed by applicants without representation are denied. If the applicant requests reconsideration of a rejected claim, that typically requires at least three months longer. An Appeals Court hearing could take an additional 18 months to schedule, with another two to six months before the decision is rendered. Even if the decision is favorable at this point, it can take 18 to 24 months longer for the appeal to be processed before the first benefit check arrives. The total potential time to receive benefits: two to five years


Even individuals with legal representation can expect to wait three months for processing their initial claim. The majority of claims filed by applicants with representation are approved. It may take an addition six months of processing before monthly benefits begin, but the recipient can expect to be paid for any back benefits he is owed. Total time under this best-case scenario: under one year.

If the claim was one of the minority that is denied despite legal representation, it can take up to six months for reconsideration and Appeals Court hearing; another three months for the decision to be rendered; and 12 months for processing and receiving benefits. The total waiting period for benefits: the majority is approved and received within nine months, while refuted claims are generally settled within two years.

Don’t Waste Your Time

When you physically can’t work to support yourself and family due to a debilitating disease, Social Security disability is your best option for sustainability. Once you’ve made the decision to apply, your best option for timely success is representation from an experienced disability lawyer. Don’t waste time filing yourself or taking your chances with inexperienced attorneys. Call us today for a free consultation and let us convince you why we’re the right choice. Our 20-plus years of experience will work to make sure that you can give up your job with a clear conscience.

Call now to begin the process and get your benefits that much sooner. You deserve it!

Need more information on disability claims? We don’t blame you! Social Security can be an extremely frustrating system to understand. Learn more about the intricacies of SS and disability by requesting our book, Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability. Don’t allow confusion to affect your benefit rights. The download is free, but the knowledge you will learn is priceless.

Are You Looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney in Boston, MA?

If you are looking to apply for social security disability, you need to speak with an experienced social security disability lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Natick Office directly at 508.283.5500 to schedule your free consultation.

John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer