Thousands Die Each Year Waiting for Social Security Disability Benefits

The Social Security Disability backlog for hearings is so long that many applicants wait two years - and some of those applicants die while fighting for benefits.

According to a year-end report which was recently released, more than 10,000 people who were waiting for their turn to go before a judge and fight for Social Security disability benefits, have died. Some would even argue that many of them died because they couldn’t afford the medical care that they desperately needed.

Nearly 10.5 million people receive these much needed benefits each year but for most, the process of obtaining coverage wasn’t easy. In fact, more than 65% of all initial applications for Social Security Disability are immediately denied. Although the denial can be appealed, the waitlist is so long that it takes almost two years just to get a hearing date.

The people who are applying for these benefits are hard-working Americans who have either been diagnosed with a disabling illness such as cancer or heart disease, or who have sustained a serious injury which prevents them from being able to return to work.

The average American isn’t financially stable enough to go without a steady paycheck and even those who do have a steady paycheck would have difficulty paying the medical bills that will quickly begin to add up. Without the help that can be provided through Social Security, often applicants go without – which can literally put their life and continued health on the line.

The Social Security Administration has announced that they intend to hire around 500 new administrative judges and 600 support staff, hoping that this will help to reduce the amount of time that an applicant needs to wait after making an appeal, but they have not indicated how long it will take for these positions to be filled or how long it will take to get the new employees up and running. So while this may help future applicants, it likely won’t be enough to save those who need help now.

Contact Info:
Name: Brian Mittman
Phone: 914-946-1452
Organization: Markhoff & Mitman, P.C.

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Release ID: 280717