The Social Security Administration is in the news again, and this time for the wrong reasons. There is a significant backlog of applicants waiting for decisions from the administration as to the status of their applications. The SSA is acknowledging the problem and vowing to correct it.
According to a Social Security Administration spokesman, more than a million people are waiting for hearing decisions. Some applicants have waited over 17 months for a decision. The SSA spokesperson concedes this is unacceptable. The increase in applications has been blamed in part on the Great Recession of 2007-2009, as well as on the large number of baby boomers getting older. There is also a shortage of administrative law judges who handle the appeals.
Though this situation may seem bleak, it is important to understand that if you qualify and follow the necessary procedures, there is still a good chance you will be accepted into the program. There are currently nearly nine million Americans in Social Security Disability programs, collecting an average of $1,022 per month to help with the financial challenges of an illness or injury that prevents them from working.
It goes without saying that the sooner one applies, the sooner one will receive an answer from the Social Security Administration. With this in mind, if you are suffering from an injury, illness, or mental condition that is prohibiting you from work and is expected to last a year or end in death, it is important to get moving to get your benefits as soon as possible.
Source: Huffington Post, "Social Security Administration Seeks Shortcut Through Massive Disability Backlog," Arthur Delaney, May 6, 2016