Waiting for a Decision About Your Social Security Disability Benefits?

What, exactly, is the biggest problem facing the Social Security Administration

It depends on who you ask.

Ask someone who works for the troubled agency and they will say the toughest part of the job is trying to separate disabled workers from non-disabled workers. Ask someone who has filed disability paperwork and they will say it's the amount of time it takes to apply for and receive Social Security disability benefits. 

Both sides have valid arguments, but one thing is certain. The Social Security disability system faces a massive task when you consider that over 2 million workers filed for disability in 2006, and the number continues to rise each year. 

According to officials with the SSA, the average wait time for benefits is 500 days.

But SSA officials insist that the number of applications isn't the problem, it's the task of weeding out who is physically and/or mentally disabled and who isn't. Of the 2 million-plus people who filed for disability in 2006, approximately 550,000 were determined to be unfit to work. 

The same number of applicants were initially denied because it was determined that they were not medically disabled. And a large number of other applicants were denied Social Security disability for nonmedical reasons. 

The remaining 300,000-plus? They didn't receive an immediate ruling on their application.

While it sounds like tough odds, there is hope. More than half of applicants applying for social security disability ultimately received their benefits.

The majority of applicants with legitimate disabilities are often forced to file an appeal. After the applicant has filed the appeal, the odds of receiving benefits increase dramatically. In fact, the numbers say that more than half of applicants ultimately receive benefits. But keep in mind, most of the applicants who eventually receive their disability benefits may wait years before receiving a favorable ruling.

Social Security Benefits can be a lifeline for Americans who are unable to work. The monthly income provided by the SSA can provide them with food and other basic living expenses.

Hiring a qualified social security disability attorney is the first step you can take toward increasing your odds of receiving deserved benefits. A legal representative can help applicants sort through the process, including application and appeal.

Contact an Indiana Social Security attorney at the law offices of Keller & Keller today. We can provide you with a free consultation and advice on how to proceed with your case.

Join The Conversation
Jo 01/25/2014 11:42 AM
What can one do for income if you have none and are unable to work because of your disability since it takes so long for cases to be resolved? Thank-you!
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Timothy Burns 01/27/2014 10:55 AM
Jo, That is one of the major conundrums facing anyone who contemplating filing for benefits. The denial rate on the first two levels of claims is around 70% and by the time one reaches a hearing, almost two years elapse since the filing date. In the first instance, SSA regards work which results in <$1,000 in GROSS pay as below SGA (substantial gainful activity) and will continue to process the claim. For most people, though, they file a disability claim because they cannot do any work. If you have further questions, please call us at 1-800-2Keller to discuss your options.
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