Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility The journey of SSDI claims today   | Brown & Brown Absence Services Group

When an SSDI application is filed, a comprehensive claim review process begins to determine if the applicant will be awarded Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits or if the claim will be denied. While the claim review process has not changed in many years, the experience of today’s SSDI applicants is quite different than those from years past, as the Social Security Administration (SSA) continues to feel the impact of ripples created in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Unfortunately, overall SSDI claim wait times have increased over the last several years. The pandemic also created both social and economic challenges that caused Social Security to become understaffed at a critical time, thus amassing a significant backlog of claims needing review, as well as placing additional burdens on disabled individuals left without income for longer periods of time. Even in the last year, the claims process has slowed significantly; in 2023, the wait time claimants experienced after filing their initial SSDI application increased by 18% (34 days) compared to 2022. Additionally, by the end of 2023, applicants filing a new disability application waited approximately seven months for a decision – while wait times for those requesting a reconsideration appeal currently have increased by approximately 16% (about a 30-day increase) compared to 2022.    

The ripple effects of these challenges continue to be felt outside of the SSDI application process, as more people are attempting to return to work before they are ready due to prolonged time periods managing health care and daily living expenses with little to no income.   

While SSA is making efforts to increase the rate of decisions issued and reduce wait times, including advancing a new rule to reduce the past relevant work time period, various staffing and budget roadblocks indicate that progress will likely remain slow – and it will be a while before numbers return to pre-pandemic levels.   

It can be easy for SSDI applicants to hear this news and feel discouraged by the disability claims process before it even begins. This is why it is so valuable to work with an experienced representative like Brown & Brown Absence Services Group. Not only do claims with representation have better award rates, but they are supported by seasoned, knowledgeable professionals who can arm claimants with knowledge about the SSDI process and what to expect in this continually evolving environment.  

While every claim is different, and many claimants will experience a relatively short wait prior to receiving SSDI benefits, we have created this infographic to illustrate the longer path an individual applying for SSDI today may follow once their initial application has been filed.  


Click here to learn more about the journey of many SSDI applications today.