Posted on 1 Dec, 2017
It is difficult enough to come to terms with the fact that you may never be able to work again because of an injury or illness. What makes it even worse is the fact that your very livelihood may be at risk simply because of the wait to receive benefits.
The Hard Truth
That is the situation that many citizens are in after suffering career and job-ending afflictions. In the time between determining that they can no longer work and getting the chance to prove it, workers are ending up destitute and depressed. In some cases, it can take years to get in front of a judge for hearing to state a case. This is after the sometimes eight month waiting period prior to being denied, which precipitates the hearing in the first place.
This means that for years, applicants are left with a sizable gap in their household income, or no income at all. Their savings dwindle, and they try to make due by paying bills and making mortgage payments on credit cards. The situation eventually becomes unmanageable.
The situation is most likely caused by the weak funding to local social security offices. They are greatly understaffed, and can only handle so many cases at at time. That means long waits, and a lot of stress for applicants. For instance, in Fort Worth, Texas, there are close to 6,000 pending disability applications at any one time. There are 10 administrative law judges to handle them. Despite that, Fort Worth happens to have one of the shortest wait times for hearings, at approximately 2 years.
After the long wait, many will finally be approved for their benefits. However, those who are denied will then face an even harder task of getting back to work, since they will have a large hole on their resume. A faster turnaround time would make it easier on them to get their lives back together.
How to Fix it
There is some political will to fix the problem, but as it stands, the backlog means there will still be incredibly long waits for the foreseeable future. Some politicians, such as Texas representative Sam Johnson, has made reform a priority, but there is a long road ahead. The best thing an applicant can do is find legal representation to help them through the process to avoid any further unnecessary delays.
To get the results you need for your disability claim in a timely fashion, contact the experienced professionals at Gustad Law Group. Reach out online or call us at 206-533-2222.