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More than 800,000 SSD claims in backlog at year-end

New York residents who have filed for Social Security disability insurance know how complicated and lengthy the process can be. It can seem like there are endless forms to fill out and an overwhelming amount of information to track down about yourself. Once everything is complete, though, you hope to hear back from the claims office with an answer to your application. Unfortunately, this can take a substantial amount of time.

Despite the fact that the hearing processing time is now a week shorter than last year, the Social Security Administration recently reported that there are still more than 815,000 disability claims in backlog. The wait time is now averaging 353 days instead of 360 days -- still a long time to wait.

Because the wait time to hear about approval or denial is so long, it's very important that those who have a disability or become disabled file for benefits immediately. A good way to make sure your application is thoroughly complete and submitted as quickly as possible is to work with an experienced Social Security disability attorney who can help walk you through the process.

Speaking to an attorney may be beneficial if your claim is denied. Of the people who apply for benefits for the first time, more than 66 percent are denied. However, those individuals do have the option of appealing the ruling. And if you appeal, your chances are much better. Approximately two-thirds of those who appeal a denial are granted benefits. In order to give yourself the best chances, it's important to make sure you have a solid understanding of what you need to do to get benefits.

Source: STL Today, "Social Security Disability Backlog Still High At Fiscal Year-end, Reports Allsup," Bryan Clix, Nov. 29, 2012

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