Articles Posted in Backlog of cases

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An already overstressed Social Security Administration (SSA) that is struggling with a backlog of cases is likely to be even more squeezed after a hiring freeze imposed by the Trump Administration.

President Trump announced a federal hiring freeze that potentially could enhance the current problem the Agency has with large numbers of pending cases. An average claim at SSA can take as long as a year to decide. In the meantime, disability applicants who are already suffering from severe medical conditions are forced to wait anxiously for a decision on their claim.

At special risk are appeals filed by disability applicants who have had their earlier claims denied.  If a person’s claim is denied, he or she has the option of filing an appeal. That can be a long process in itself. The Social Security Administration’s Inspector General says that the average processing time for an appeal in 2016 was 526 days.

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You don’t have to be a Social Security disability benefits lawyer, or an SSD applicant to know that disability claims across the country have skyrocketed. CNN recently ran a report on the reasons why these claims have been increasing the way they have.

According to the Department Of Veterans Affairs, the number of disability claims filed by veterans has increased by 28% since 2008 alone. The CNN report blames the recession as well as the economic downtown that kicked off in 2008 and 2009, as the major reason why there has been an increase in these claims. Back during the 2001 recession, the same trend was seen, and disability claims increased by 13% in that year. In 2009, during the recession, claims increased by 21%.

Critics have tried to blame the increasing number of disability claims on laziness, and people applying for disability payments, instead of finding jobs. However, the fact of the matter, as any lawyer will tell you, is that so many people want to work, but are physically unable to do so. When jobs are scarce, people with any type of disability are usually the least likely to be hired. Also, as businesses scale back, a worker who needs an accommodation to keep his/her job may be the first to be let go.