It is no secret that the Social Security disability system in the U.S. is seriously flawed. Among the many problems that applicants and recipients of Social Security disability often come up against are the complicated application process and the extraordinarily long wait for benefits that they may experience.
Recent changes to the system have attempted to remedy these issues, but as any applicant in Atlanta will tell you, there is still a long way to go in terms of repairing the system. However, it is promising to see signs of improvement. That appears to be the case in another state where an administrative judge was evidently responsible for long wait times and many applicants were fed up with the delays.
According to the account of one woman who had submitted an application for SSDI, she had been waiting years for decision to come through. She initially applied in July 2011 and appeared in front of an administrative judge in February 2013. One week ago, she finally received her first check, which included payment for two years worth of benefits.
The significant delay in this woman’s case is unfortunately not uncommon. However, this woman reached out for help and news outlets traced the delay to the administrative judge in charge of her case. According to reports, that particular judge had a history of long wait times in reviewing her cases and was even the subject of an inquiry launched by one of the state’s senators.
During the investigation into this situation, the judge reportedly retired. Her active cases were sent to another judge, who made decisions within a couple weeks, and additional judges were hired to handle the backlog of applications.
It is understandably very frustrating to be at the mercy of a slow, antiquated system. People who have applied for SSDI are often out of work and unable to keep up with medical bills, mortgages and daily living expenses. Things can only get worse when the wait times drag on for weeks, months or even longer.
However, this case should be an example of how important it is to stick with the process and reach out for support. With legal resources and help navigating the system, people can feel more confident as they pursue the SSDI benefits they may deserve.
Source: WIVB, “Three-year wait for Social Security Disability finally over,” Al Vaughters, Sept. 3, 2014