An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

Death of applicants awaiting SSD appeals

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2020 | Social Security Disability

Not working can be a financial nightmare for individuals in Oklahoma. However, this can be especially detrimental for those not working because of a disabling illness or injury. In these matters, Social Security disability can be beneficial, as it helps address the financial woes caused by the inability to work because of a disability. However, many applicants are met with long waiting periods for approval. In some cases, the wait far exceeds their prognosis, resulting in applicants passing on before they ever enjoy these benefits.

Issues faced by SSD applicants

When individuals apply for SSD benefits, it is usually when these funds are necessary to meet his or her basic living needs. Many applicants tend to be older and poorer, so these benefits are often immediately needed. Unfortunately, many applicants are met with waits that last years before any decision is made on their application.

Data collected from 2008 to 2019 illustrates how arduous the process can be for some applicants. During this timeframe, close to 110,000 applicants died while awaiting the appeal process after they were initially denied SSD benefits. It was also discovered that around 50,000 individuals filed for bankruptcy from 2014 to 2019 while waiting fro their SSD matters to resolve.

In 2015, the backlog for SSD appeals increased to wait times averaging 839 days. That is well over two years. In the past year, the wait time decreased to 506 days; however, that is still a wait of over a year to obtain a decision after his or her initial application was denied.

The grim outcome of backlogs

No one wants to get worse or suffer a fatal outcome while waiting for SSD benefits, but this is the reality faced by many applicants. Because the vast majority of initial applicants are denied, with only a quarter of initial applications being approved, many have to go through the lengthy appeals process to obtain these benefits. For those filing an appeal, there is roughly a 49% chance of being successful.

Even with this success rate, many applicants do not even reach their appeal date because they have succumbed to their conditions. In these matters, initial applicants or those seeking an appeal should understand their rights when it comes to reducing their wait times. If one is suffering from a serious condition, it may be possible to take other measures. Thus, it is vital to understand these legal options.