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Social Security Disability backlog presents challenges

There is a backlog of appeals concerning Social Security Disability which means that many doctors and administrative judges are being pressured to process complaints more quickly. Doctors have protested that they are not able to handle many of the claims to which they have been assigned, and this has resulted in a "doctor's revolt."

"People who shouldn't be getting [disability] are getting it, and people who should be getting it aren't getting it," a former chief surgeon was quoted as saying. Doctors have been assigned to areas in which they have no familiarity or expertise. A truck driver's claim of small-fiber neuropathy was rejected because of the opinion of a pediatrician. This driver's appeal was won two years later, but due to such delay this individual's financial circumstances in the meantime became precarious.

Often individuals are not aware of their options when a claim has been denied. The filing of Social Security Disability claims is not simple, and many that attempt to file a claim on their own are originally turned down. However, such matters can be appealed.

The deadline for appeals is 60-days, and this requires organizing medical records and documentation along with supporting testimony to insure a successful appeal. As evidenced by the driver having to wait two-years for his appeal to prevail, Social Security Disability appeals can often take time and perseverance.

With the backlog of appeals, the problem of timely appeals is likely to get worse rather than better. This is why it is often necessary to find counsel experienced in the area of Social Security Disability to be there from the beginning of the claim until the appeal of the matter is resolved. Such counsel can bring attention upon the claim to make certain it is not ignored.

Source: Charleston Daily Mail, "Social Security Disability is a horrendous mess," Nov. 25, 2011

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