Social Security Disability applications backlogged

by lmallernee | December 7th, 2012

Millions of people are applying for disability benefits, and the Social Security Administration can’t work through the claims fast enough, reports USA Today.

Funded by workers’ payroll deductions, the Social Security disability program is intended to help people who get sick or injured and can no longer work.

Two things are causing pressure to build on the system: aging Baby Boomers are more prone to injury and illnesses as they get older, and the recession has caused many to apply for benefits when they lose their jobs.

Because they fail to supply enough evidence of a disability, most applicants are rejected in their initial written request. After two rejections, their next step is an appeal before a judge. Applicants, on average, now wait more than 10 months for those court hearings.

According to the Social Security Administration, the average wait time for those who apply for disability benefits is 316 days.

A key reason for the long delay between application and approval of benefits is a safety mechanism built into the program since its inception in the mid-1950s. To ensure applicants aren’t gaming the system, the application is complex, requiring thorough documentation and detail.

Those who have applied for benefits because of a disability describe the system as “complex and overburdened.”

If you or someone you know needs help with disability claims, contact the Social Security lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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