When an injury prevents someone from working, it can cause a lot of stress and financial hardships. Those in this situation can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance to help them while they recover. Most of the time, injured workers need these benefits as soon as possible. However, for decisions on initial SSDI applications, the wait time has reportedly ballooned to over seven months.
A long wait
According to data collected in April 2023, new SSDI applicants had to wait over seven months, 223 days to be exact, to receive a decision on their case. Reportedly, the wait times are longer than at any other point in the last 14 years. Between April 2019 and April 2023, the average wait time reportedly ballooned from four to over seven months, an 83% increase.
Fewer applications but longer wait times
These long waits only put more financial strain on those who need help the most. The Social Security Administration acknowledged in Sept. 2022 that the increased wait times are unacceptable and cause significant financial hardships. Yet even though there have been fewer new applications this year, the SSA has recently found that workers were unable to keep up with the demand. The SSA says it needs additional funding to help reduce backlogs.
Where to get help
Those who apply for disability benefits are likely already in need of financial assistance, but they receive no such monetary assistance from the Social Security Administration during the application process. The best way for applicants to get a decision as soon as possible is to ensure their application is complete and meets all requirements. Those who are applying for disability benefits could get much-needed assistance by consulting a legal professional who understands the intricacies involved with all phases of the application process.