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Social Security disability benefits and the waiting game

It is no secret that the Social Security disability benefits system in the U.S. is far from perfect. People all across Atlanta who have gone the through the application, denial and appeals processes know this first-hand. The fact is that people may not understand if they are eligible to receive these disability benefits for an illness or injury. And if they are eligible, it may not be clear how to file a claim. Even more frustrating is the fact that many claims are initially denied, which means that people then need to navigate the appeals process.

On top of all this, the system can be excruciatingly slow. And many people who rely on these monthly benefits do not have the time to sit and wait around for the payments to come in. Sadly, a recent report indicates that some people end up waiting for these much-needed benefits for months or even years.

Some of the reasons that the application, approval and appeals processes can take so long is that the Social Security Administration has an enormous backlog of cases. And if the paperwork submitted with a claim is inaccurate or incomplete, that can only delay the process by leading to a denied claim. This does not mean that a person will not receive benefits; it just means that they need to file an appeal. But the appeals process can take years in some cases. Judges may hear dozens of cases a day and can spend months making a ruling on each one. 

But hopefully at the end of this long and tedious process, a person who is unable to work because of a disability will be given the benefits they desperately need and deserve.

Of course every situation is a little different. However, the overall expectation when it comes to SSDI is that people can be waiting around for a long time before their claim is approved. But instead of trying to figure out this system yourself, which could end up costing you even more time and frustration, it can be very helpful to work with an attorney who is already familiar with this process. Taking advantage of the legal resources that are available can streamline the process and help people get the benefits for which they are eligible.

Source: WIVB, "Social Security: Long wait for disability," Al Vaughters, Feb. 6, 2014

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