When there aren’t enough people to help with Social Security claims, time becomes the enemy for victims who need benefits. It’s tiring to know you deserve and need benefits but you have to wait time and time again for the process that could finally bring you relief.
A recent report discussed how federal disability programs are now on high-risk lists in Government Accountability offices. The reality is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is so short-staffed that it’s nearly impossible for people to get approved for disability in a reasonable amount of time.
One man, 54, was unable to work after retiring from the Army. He received an individual unemployability determination, and he was at a high risk for suicide due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Despite that, the man applied for disability coverage and was denied. He was denied a second time nearly two years later. Now, six years after the original application, he’s still waiting to see if he’ll qualify for the benefits he needs.
Right now, there are around 986,000 pending hearings at the SSA’s offices. The average wait? A shocking 600 days.
The problem is that the SSA has not added the manpower needed to keep up with a growing number of claims. Between the baby boomers, military members and those affected by the recession, it’s hard for the administration to keep up. Add to that the fact that judges get only around 2.6 hours to hear a case, and you can immediately see why so many cases have inaccurate decisions that negatively impact those looking to obtain disability compensation.
Source: Power Post, “Short staffing leads to long waits for Social Security disability hearing decisions,” Joe Davidson, April 03, 2018