What is Taking my Social Security Claim So Long?

Are you a claimant in the Social Security system trying to get approved for SSI or SSD?  If you are, I bet you’re frustrated with the system and with all the stress you’re under right now.  The Social Security Administration has over 500,000 cases waiting for review in their appeals section alone right now.  These are the cases the Administrative Law Judge has denied, and the claimants and their attorneys are appealing to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is the last step of appealing the unfavorable decision of your hearing denial before going into Federal District Court.

At the Charleston, WV Hearing Office alone there is an average wait time of 12 months before you get a hearing date.  The Social Security Administration shows that there are approximately 5,480 cases currently pending, with an additional 2200 new cases being appealed each year.  There are eleven (11) Administrative Law Judges in the Charleston Hearing office.  Each Judge issues a decision on an average of 2.9 cases per day.  Is it any wonder why, with numbers like these, it takes so long to get a hearing?  The SSA recently attempted to limit the number of new applications by changing their rules so that once denied at hearing a claimant may only choose to either reapply with a new onset date or appeal the recent decision instead of being able to reapply and appeal concurrently. 

Is there an easy solution to the backlog at the Social Security Administration in processing the claims for Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits?  I doubt it. With the economy in the condition it’s in and the lack of jobs for the majority of people, it seems as if there are more and more people trying to get disability.  I think these same people worked while still having these disabilities.  Jobs were plentiful and they could find employers willing to work with them for time off, or compensate for special needs, or maybe they just found a job that they could manage.  That is not the case anymore, so more and more are hoping to get disability because they can no longer work at their jobs or they have lost their job and need to have some income to survive.

With all the frustration involved in this process, many people do not pursue their claims after their first or second denial.  We understand the frustration here at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law.  That’s why we do everything we can to get our claimants approved.  We have the knowledge and the ability to work our way through the SSA system. We cannot speed up the process, but we will be there with you for every step of it.  So if you would like more information or get some help give us a call: 1-877-526-3457.

(written by guest blogger Lori Wentzel from our Appeals Pod)

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