Hiring freeze impacting the SSD benefits application process
Most New York residents are aware of the application process individuals must go through in order to obtain Social Security disability benefits. Even though an applicant can expect to go through a lengthy and difficult process, he or she will still take the time to apply for these benefits because they are seeking payments that are necessary. Nonetheless, the backlog that continues to build up causes a growing number of applicants to wait a significant amount of time for SSD benefits they are still unsure if they qualify for.
Following the recent federal hiring freeze, much concern surrounded the application process for disabled veterans and individuals seeking Social Security disability. Due to the hiring freeze, the Social Security Administration has experienced a growing backlog of applicants waiting to hear a decision on whether they will receive benefits or not.
In fact, roughly 1.1 million claimants are waiting to hear about their SSD benefits, with the national average taking one year. In New York, this process is taking an average of 730 days. In comparison, the backlog for veteran’s disability claims has caused it to take a year and an appeal taking three to five years.
The hiring freeze has prohibited the Administration from hiring new employees or even replacing those lost by attrition. In the end, the hiring freeze has not only generated a backlog that causes a lengthy application and decision-making process but also leaves applicants without the resources they need to address the hardships caused by their disabilities.
Whether it is due to an injury or an illness, being unable to work because of a disability can be life-altering. It can also make it nearly impossible to meet your basic needs and the cost of living. Therefore, obtaining SSD benefits can become very imperative for some individuals. Whether you are filing an initial application, are waiting for a hearing or are appealing a denied claim, it is important to understand your rights and options in the matter.
Source: The Buffalo News, “Hiring freeze will hurt the vulnerable,” Jeffery Freedman, March 24, 2017