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Funding may reduce Social Security Disability hearing backlog

The application process to be approved for Social Security Disability benefits can be challenging, and so can the Social Security Disability appeals process. The Social Security Disability appeals process has several levels, or stages, and following a request for reconsideration a hearing before an administrative law judge can be requested by an applicant whose application for SSD benefits has been denied. Unfortunately, there has been a significant backlog for hearing requests in recent years.

The issue concerning the backlog of hearings recently received attention from lawmakers. Congress has designated $150 million to address the hearing backlog. To reduce the backlog of 1.1 million applicants for disability awaiting a hearing, the funding can be used to hire administrative law judges, staff and other efforts aimed at addressing the outstanding wait for SSD appeals claims to be heard.

The average wait from application to hearing is currently 26 months. The additional funding may reduce the projected date of 2020 for the reduction of the current backlog. In the long term, the Social Security Administration has been hiring more administrative law judges to reduce the amount of time it takes to receive a hearing. Being thoroughly prepared and informed concerning the application process can also help applicants with their initial applications.

Having a solid understanding of the application and appeals processes can help claims be processed more successful for disabled individuals. When it comes to a person's disability, SSD benefits can help prevent financial and health-related problems. This is why it is essential for applicants to understand their rights to the appeals process and how to apply for benefits.

Source: Yahoo Finance, "Social Security Disability Program Gets Funding For Hearing Backlog," Jan. 11, 2017

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