No one expects to become injured or ill; thus, they do not expect to become disabled by these injuries or illnesses. And certainly, one does not expect to have to wait a long time to obtain benefits to help them through the financial hardships caused by his or her disability. Unfortunately, those who are seeking Social Security disability benefits or are waiting to appeal a denial will have to wait. For some, this means waiting longer than they have time to.
According to recent reports, during 2016 and 2017, the number of people that died waiting to learn if they will receive SSD benefits rose to 18,701. As 2017 came to an end, there were more than one million former workers stuck in the 605-day backlog waiting to find out whether they are eligible for benefits. The wait is longer in some states, reaching nearly 800 days.
Because they had to wait and did not obtain the resources that they needed to get the care that they needed, close to 19,000 people died. Based on current information, this backlog is unlikely to abate prior to 2022. This is despite the efforts made, such as hiring additional staff and judges. Even more so, the Compassionate allowance program needs improvements. The U.S. Government Accountability Office declared that corrections are needed to ensure that the most severe disabilities obtain benefits in a timely manner.
Living with a disability, whether a person is born with it or acquired it later in life, is a challenge. This is especially true if a person is unable to work because of their disability. Obtaining SSD benefits, even if it takes time, could make a huge difference. Thus, one should understand this process and how best to proceed with it.
Source: Econotimes.com, "Nearly 19,000 People Died Waiting For Social Security Disability Benefits In Two Years," Feb. 1, 2018