Rising demand in the United States for disability benefits has caused the average wait time to resolve a claim to rise to over two years. A detailed article on what is happening—and what many disability advocates hope can be done—is available here.
As the Baby Boomer generation confronts the health issues and illnesses which come with old age, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is faced with an ever-increasing number of applicants seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Currently, there are approximately 1.1 million applicants waiting for decisions regarding their claims. Unfortunately, hundreds of U.S. citizens with mental illness, cancer and other chronic conditions die each year before their SSDI cases are resolved.
Correcting the Problem with Wait Times
Sources within the SSA blame the backlog on a budget which has shrunk 11% since 2010, as well as insufficient staffing to process claims and review medical records. Currently, fifty administrative law judges in North Carolina hear cases.
The SSA hopes the addition of video conference units will help address the backlog, allowing administrative law judges to hear appeals from anywhere in the country. The agency hopes to reduce the average wait time for an appeal to 270 days—a level last seen in 2000.
The Situation in North Carolina
According to the most recent figures, about 400,000 North Carolina residents currently receive SSDI benefits. At the same time, however, more than 38,000 additional SSDI claims are stuck in administrative limbo.
Four SSA hearing offices in the state handle appeals—and the wait times are above national averages. The backlog in those offices ranges from 600 to 700 days. The largest backlog is in the Charlotte office, where more than 11,000 people wait for administrative hearings.
In 2010, only 21,656 across the entire state waited for appeal hearings. Since then, wait times have doubled. As of 2016, the SSA’s Office of Inspector General indicated that over 400 North Carolina residents died while waiting for their appeal hearings.
We Can Help.
If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, mental illness, or injury; contact Daggett Shuler for help. An experienced Social Security Disability Insurance attorney can handle all of the paperwork and details necessary to work to secure the SSDI benefits you deserve.
If you have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits—or if your claim has been denied—call Daggett Shuler Law at 336-724-1234. When you call, you will speak with a North Carolina Social Security Disability Insurance Attorney absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you—and fight hard to secure the benefits you deserve.
Daggett Shuler Law – You Can Depend on Us.