The cost of living in the San Diego area is quite high. Even if you live outside of San Diego in Chula Vista or Carlsbad, you will pay a premium for everything from groceries to housing. Those extra costs can make life that much more challenging for you after you suffer an injury or get diagnosed with a medical condition that prevents you from working or even taking care of yourself.
Those with severe medical issues may find themselves in need of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Unfortunately, quite a few applicants get denied initially and must appeal. You will eventually have to attend a hearing in order to obtain the benefits you need. The question then becomes how long you might wind up waiting for an SSDI hearing after the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your initial application.
San Diego area applicants can anticipate a substantial wait
The SSA handles thousands of applicants every month. They also make decisions based on limited medical documentation that can affect someone’s future for the rest of their lives. Although the SSA does attempt to hold itself accountable and handle appeals and requests for hearings in a timely manner, it is typical for people to wait multiple months before they can see an administrative law judge and argue their case.
One of the ways that the SSA holds itself accountable about the turnaround time for those seeking benefits is to track the average wait time for hearings at different offices. The San Diego SSA office currently averages 11 months of wait times for hearings.While that may seem like a lot for people who need to cover the cost of living expenses for the San Diego area, it is actually better than many other big cities. Additionally, applicants who eventually received an approval for benefits can receive back pay that they would have earned if they had gotten an initial approval and hadn’t had to wait all those months for a hearing in the first place.