The disability process is more complicated and time-consuming than ever

Statistics are showing that more people than ever before are receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Disabled World reports that there are about 291,000 people with a form of work disability in Minnesota alone. Because of the influx of applications, the Social Security system is flooded. People applying for aid may find themselves in the midst of long delays, as well as the nightmare of a repeated denial and appeals process.

The Times Union reports that the number of people applying for disability since the Great Recession has skyrocketed. A growing population of aging baby boomers may be partly responsible for this, as more senior citizens find it difficult to retire, yet are without the skills or physical capabilities of making a living in our increasingly skill-oriented job market.

Long delays and frequent denials

The influx in disability applications has resulted in a backlog, with many people waiting three to four months or even longer to find out if they've been approved or denied, according to the Social Security Disability Resource Center.

USA Today reported on the case of a woman who was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, whose pain made it impossible for her to work. After she was denied disability, she started preparing an appeal and found out it could take a year for a hearing. Meanwhile, her bills were adding up and she worried about how she could make ends meet while undergoing chemotherapy.

There are several reasons it can be difficult for Social Security applicants to receive benefits, or even a timely answer, these days:

  • Disabled people who have previously worked and lost jobs in the recession and are unable to find employment that accommodates their disability.
  • Applicants commonly fail to supply enough evidence of being disabled.
  • Judicial approval rates vary widely by region.
  • Some illnesses are hard to prove the necessity for disability benefits.

Although the process can be daunting and discouraging for many applicants, it's necessary for those who otherwise wouldn't have an income and who are unable to work long-term.

Contacting a lawyer for help

The Social Security Disability process can be complex, time-consuming and frustrating. To help you through the process as a strong advocate for your rights, it's important to speak with an attorney who has experience in getting disability cases approved.