Social Security Disability Hearing Backlog Growing Again
Number of people waiting in the hearing backlog approaches 1 million.
If your application was denied and you must appeal your SSDI benefits claim, it’s important to avoid waiting to file and get help. The Back Log of people waiting to attend a hearing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is growing closer to 1 million.
As of December 2013, there were 903,720 people who had filed an appeal and were waiting for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). , according to data released by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
This is a nearly 7 percent increase from 847,984 hearings pending at the end of fiscal year 2013, and a 17 percent increase from 771,318 hearings pending in FY 2011.
As the waiting time grows longer, more and more people are enduring significant financial hardship to receive SSDI benefits through a program they paid into through FICA taxes while they were working.
The first-quarter FY 2014 data also shows that the time it takes to get a Hearing has increased to 393 days from 382 days in FY 2013.
Click here to see a state-by-state ranking of pending hearings, based on an analysis of SSA data.
The growing Social Security disability Backlog illustrates the challenges of meeting the SSA’s goals outlined in its FY 2008-13 Agency Strategic Plan.
Social Security had planned to reduce the hearing Backlog to 466,000 claims and the average processing time to 270 days, but a number of factors have worked against this.
Restricted funding has led Social Security to cut the hours its Hearing Offices are open to the public. In addition, the average wait time for calls going to the SSA’s national 800-number have increased. Since September 2010, the SSA has lost more than 7,400 employees from its workforce, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
At the same time that waiting times are growing to get a Hearing, it’s becoming much more difficult to receive SSDI benefits.
For example, the SSA reported that 89,332 people were granted benefits in December 2012. A year later, that number was reduced to 61,983 in December 2013, a 30 percent decline.
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program that provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (65-67) and who can no longer work because of a severe, long-term or terminal disability. FICA payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers fund the program, which is administered by the SSA.
You Need Help When Filing An SSDI Appeal
Things To Consider When Applying for SSDI benefits.
1. Consult An Attorney. Those who applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits without a representative have the opportunity to get help with a disability appeal. At the hearing level of the SSDI program, nearly eight in 10 applicants have a representative.
2. Appeal Every Thing. When people apply for SSDI and are denied benefits, they may decide to give up on their application. It’s important to pursue a disability appeal because delaying or missing important dates can hurt someone’s claim. For instance, those who decide to wait and apply later may wait too long and become uninsured. The SSA requires individuals to be fully and currently insured in order to receive SSDI benefits. Generally, this means having a work history of five out of the last 10 years—and waiting too long could mean missing this window.
3. Provide documentation and details. It may take the SSA two years or longer to review an SSDI claim through the appeals process, which points to the importance of good documentation. Continue to work closely with your doctors to document updates, new tests and test result. It’s also important to correct any errors, explain changes and provide more detail with your SSDI appeal.
More than 168,000 people applied for SSDI benefits in December 2013 and entered the growing line for review of their disability insurance claims.
It is important for new SSDI applicants to realize they need expert help with their application. That expertise and attention to your claim can result in benefits as early as your initial application. That means avoiding disability appeals altogether.
Find more information about SSDI disability appeal see http://www.amazon.com/socialNsecurity-Confessions-Social-Security-Judge/dp/1449569757
(Statistics Source: ALLSUP) ABOUT ALLSUP :
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.