Articles Posted in Backlog of claims

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Once you have filed your Social Security Disability benefits claim, it is recommended that you check the status at regular intervals.

It’s also important to understand that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is typically inundated with disability benefits claims, and therefore, a decision may not come early. Further, a decision will depend on a number of factors which include the type of evidence that you submitted, and the nature and severity of your disability. The decision time also depends on whether SSA will require further evidence in the form of a medical examination. All of these factors can delay your claim.

In addition, a decision usually takes time because claims processing is typically a tedious process. It’s therefore important to begin filing your claim immediately. Speak to an Atlanta Social Security disability benefits lawyer for help filing a claim. Also, remember that although most claims are denied initially, you should not give up. Many claimants are able to receive benefits via the appeals process.

While you are waiting for your disability benefits claim to be approved, you can check on the status of your claim. You can do that by logging into the Social Security Administration website at, and looking for a whether a decision has been made in your case. You can also call the Social Security Administration on the agency’s toll-free number 1-800-772-1213, Monday throughout Friday, for more information about your claim.

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Having Your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim denied can be disappointing, but it doesn’t mean that all is lost. As long as you take the next best steps, you may very well be able to earn an award of benefits. However, you will want to take action and appeal the denial as quickly as possible.

There are strict time limitations that apply to most appeals, and if you do not file an appeal within the time period, you could actually have a claim dismissed.
Many persons who have their claims denied are so discouraged that they do not appeal. They give up on their claim being approved, fatigued by the long period of time it often takes for a decision. In other cases, people make the mistake of filing a brand-new claim in place of the denied claim.

One of the most important things to do is understand why your claim was denied. In most cases, benefits are denied because the claimant did not submit enough medical evidence to establish the severity of impairment, or the eligibility of the condition. However, disability claim denials are much more common than most people realize. In fact, about 60% of all disability benefit claims are denied at the initial stage.

When you receive a notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) informing you about the denial, you will also receive a technical explanation of the reasons for the unfavorable decision. SSA will use the notice to inform you that the job you could perform has demands that you are physically equipped to handle. In other words, the agency will deny that your condition is so disabling that it prevents you from going back to work and earning a living.

The first step to take after getting your claim denied is to speak to a Social Security disability lawyer and file an appeal.

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As of December 2012, the Social Security Administration had 1,566 administrative law judges on its roster. That is a few judges more than the initially stated goal of more than 1500 judges. In 2009, the Social Security Administration had a severe shortage of administrative law judges, with just 1000 judges.

The increased number of administrative law judges who are now available to hear Social Security disability hearings will definitely have an impact on the speed with which claims can be processed. The Social Security Administration is currently dealing with a major backlog of claims, and the average claim can take months to be processed. Increasing the number of judges is just one way in which some of that backlog pressure can be released.

However, it’s far too early to expect any improvement in the speeding up of claims processing. The Social Security Administration’s ability to retain the administrative law judges that it currently has might be hampered by federal budgetary restrictions.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is meant to provide regular monthly benefits to people who are aged 65 and above. In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you must no longer be working, and must no longer be capable of earning an income because of a severe disability. The medical condition should have lasted for a minimum of 12 months, or should be expected to last for at least 12 months.

Unfortunately, the numbers of people who actually meet the criteria for Social Security disability benefits often find that their claims are delayed, and even denied in some cases. In such cases, it’s important to speak with an attorney about your rights.

Presenting a strong case for disability benefits before an administrative law judge requires more than just knowing the procedures. It requires meticulous preparation, collection of all relevant documents, and careful planning so that you can present a solid case.

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The Social Security Administration is so overrun by pending claims that officials are unable to conduct adequate reviews of applications, compounding problems at the already beleaguered agency.

A report released recently by congressional investigators revealed to Georgia social security claims lawyers that officials at Social Security are frequently overworked, and often, award disability benefits without conducting a proper review of these claims. The investigators analyzed a total of 300 Social Security applications from Alabama, Oklahoma and Virginia. In all of these cases, persons were awarded disability benefits. However, in more than 25% of these cases, the benefits were awarded without taking the consideration the presence of insufficient or incomplete evidence.

The investigators found that in several of the cases that were analyzed, Social Security officials approved of the claim without the benefit of strong medical evidence to corroborate the finding. In other cases, investigators were not able to explain their medical basis for the decision adequately. In yet other cases, the judges were overworked trying to deal with the case backlog, and were simply not able to review all the pieces of evidence.

This is not the first time that the Social Security Administration has faced criticism over its inability to deal with the backlog of disability claims. The agency currently faces a huge backlog of pending claims, although it says that it is working on reducing the backlog, by making improvements to the current system.

The economic downturn which began in 2008 further compounded Social Security’s backlog problems. There were a huge number of claims that were filed by workers who lost their jobs, as well as aging baby boomers. This influx of benefits claims simply added to the backlog, causing immense strain on the agency’s already limited resources, leaving the Social Security Administration teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Lisa Siegel is a Social Security disability lawyer, helping persons with disabilities in the metro Atlanta region recover their rightful disability benefits. If you are eligible for Social Security, and have had a claim denied, speak with us to learn your rights.