According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), an average of 28% of initial applications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are approved every year. This means that on average, 72% of initial applicants are denied benefits. These applicants have the option of appealing the SSA’s decision so they can continue fighting for the benefits they deserve. But unfortunately, anyone who appeals will join more than one million others who are being forced to wait for years just for a hearing.
Several months ago, it was revealed that the Social Security disability backlog had topped one million cases. All of these applicants have already been denied by the SSA once and are now waiting for an appeal hearing to be scheduled. Sadly, the average wait time has now increased to nearly two years, which means these applicants are left to suffer without benefits with no choice but to wait.
Five years ago, the wait time for applicants who were appealing the SSA’s decision was less than a year. But, the SSA has complained that they do not have the resources to keep up with the increasing number of applications for either disability or retirement benefits.
The agency announced a plan to reduce the backlog by hiring hundreds of new administrative law judges and support team members, but for many applicants, this plan did not come soon enough. Many seriously disabled applicants pass away before hearing back from the SSA about their appeal. In fact, the SSA reported that there were over 7,000 deceased people on the disability waitlist last year.
How To Avoid the Disability Backlog
The best way to avoid ending up in the same position as these other applicants is to work with an attorney on the initial application for disability benefits. Many applicants are denied benefits the first time they apply because they failed to provide enough information or submitted something incorrectly. An attorney can ensure that the information submitted to the SSDI is complete and thorough so the SSA is more likely to approve the application. Being approved the first time will save you from having to wait years for the chance to appeal, so don’t make the mistake of handling the initial application on your own.
If you are in need of disability benefits, contact our experienced attorneys today. We will carefully review your case to determine the best—and fastest—way to get the disability benefits you need. Please call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. today at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.