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Social Security Disability backlogs still occurring

Injured individuals applying for Social Security Disability Benefits often are kept waiting by the Social Security Administration. Some individuals have died while waiting for their benefits to be processed. One individual was approved for benefits nine-days after he had passed away. Another individual that was shot four-times is still waiting for his benefits some four-years later.

Applications for disability payments are on the rise because of high unemployment rates. There were more than 3 million applicants in 2011, and 771,318 of these individuals were still waiting for their cases to be heard at the end of September. However, the backlog has recently decreased.

U.S. legislators and various interest groups have becoming increasingly impatient with the delays and have taken certain steps to decrease the waiting periods. Recent legislation has somewhat alleviated the backlog problem by expanding the number of diseases and disorders that are entitled to immediate review by the Social Security Administration. Such diseases would include leukemia and pancreatic cancer.

Legal counsel can also sometimes speed the process along. Individuals filing such claims often find the process of filing a claim to be daunting and frustrating. The filing of claims and the handling of appeals can be time consuming so it is usually best to have experienced counsel to guide one through the entire process. Also, the steps for filing claims are often complex and require experienced handling for such claims to be approved.

The current economic slump may go on for some time, so there is not likely going to be a dip in the amount of claims filed during the near future. However, there are certainly a large number of individuals deserving of such benefits as so many individuals have few other financial resources to depend upon.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Growing Case Backlog Leaves the Terminally Ill Waiting," by Damian Paletta and Dionne Searcey, Dec. 28, 2011

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