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Long wait times for Social Security Disability aren’t new

People don’t often realize how long the application and approval time is for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cases. They usually think that the program will be there as a lifeline for when they’re unable to work for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, these cases can take many months — sometimes years — before they’re resolved.

In the time from 2008 through 2019, approximately 110,000 Americans died while they were waiting for an appeal decision on their case. There were also around 48,000 who had to file bankruptcy while their cases were pending.

It’s hard to think that the program they’ve paid into while they were working left those people without the assistance they needed for so long that they had to take the drastic step of filing bankruptcy. Even worse is accepting that so many others ended up dying.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) blames an uptick in applicants and beneficiaries for the longer wait times, but that’s not the fault of the filers. For some, using the Compassionate Allowances program is a way to get benefits faster. This program is only for individuals who have been diagnosed by a doctor with an illness or condition that’s on the program’s list. It must be listed on the application so the agency’s software can fast-track the application.

Anyone who’s filing for disability benefits should ensure that they have everything in order on their initial application. If that’s denied, filing an appeal quickly and making sure that it’s done properly can increase your chance of having your wait time be as short as possible. You should still prepare for a fairly lengthy wait because delays are always possible.

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