Social Security Disability Claim Backlog Tops 1 Million
If you become unable to work and perform daily activities due to a disability, you may think that Social Security Disability benefits will help you out financially. While these benefits have helped many people, thousands of people have waited so long for them that they have ended up dying before getting approved.
It was recently announced that the backlog for Social Security Disability benefits has reached 1 million people. The average wait is now two years. For these disabled Americans who are unable to work and earn money, two years without money is a long time to wait.
During this time, people end up selling all their prized possessions. They lose everything they have. They end up homeless. Many end up dying.
Social Security Disability Statistics
According to data from the Social Security Administration, all of the 1 million claims have already been denied once. They are in the appeals process hoping to be approved the second time around. Most claims do get approved once they are reviewed again—however, this takes time, delaying the process even further. The current wait time is 602 days. The wait time was under a year in 2012.
Social Security currently provides benefits for 10.5 million Americans. There are 8 million more who receive Supplemental Security Income because they do not qualify for Social Security due to low income. Last year, the Social Security Administration paid $197 billion in disability payments. The average benefit is just over $1,000 a month. In 2016, 7,400 people on the waitlist for benefits had already died.
Budget Cuts Killing Americans
The backlog is caused primarily by budget cuts over the past five years. The Social Security Administration, however, is working to add more staff. It hopes to hire 500 more judges to add to the 1,600 who currently hear appeals. It also wants to hire 600 support staff and expand a department that quickly approves benefits for those with cancer and other serious illnesses and medical conditions.
The budget also needs to be expanded. The budget is currently at $12.6 billion, which is the same amount it was six years ago in 2011. This is despite the fact that the number of people receiving disability benefits has increased by 6 million.
Until changes are made, thousands of Americans who desperately need disability benefits will continue to die every year. These people should have had their claims approved right away.
Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits
If you’re relying on Social Security Disability benefits, be prepared for a long wait. Only one-third of claims are approved the first time around. Chances are, you’ll need to file an appeal. It could take years to get the benefits you deserve. By then, though, it may be too late.
If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits, it’s time to file an appeal. Get help from the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon. He has more than two decades of experience handling these types of claims and can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Contact his office at (914) 294-2145 to schedule a complimentary consultation.