The Social Security Administration is not known for speed or customer relationship management. A phone call to a call center can mean being on hold for an hour or more and be followed by a 10 minute conversation that resolves nothing.

It’s no better if you are unable to work and are seeking benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance. It can take up to six months for the agency to decide your eligibility on initial application. Most often, the first outcome is a denial. Appealing allows you to improve your chances of approval. That can take a year or more, but working with a skilled SSDI attorney can help.

The catch with compassion

Suffering a disabling injury, one that prevents you from being able to work for some lengthy period of time, is not as unlikely as you might think. Many experts hold to the view that Americans in their 20s today have a 30 percent chance of incurring just such an injury at some point during their working lives.

SSDI exists to help in this regard, but in addition to the administration process being slow, rules make it hard to qualify, unless you happen to have one of the medical conditions listed in the compassionate allowance program.

The Social Security Administration added five new conditions to the list several months ago. These are conditions that clearly meet the legal standard for disability. However, it’s important to note that while having one of the 233 conditions on the list qualifies you for benefits and promises speedier consideration of your claim, it doesn’t guarantee approval. It merely acknowledges that you have a condition that is “most likely to be approved for disability benefits.”

As with all SSDI applications, approvals depend on providing the information the government requires and those who practice in this area of law gain that knowledge with experience.