When you file for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, a mistake can be far more than a temporary inconvenience.
It takes very little for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to deny a claim. Once that happens, the process can involve lengthy appeals, including a potentially devastating wait for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). It can take months or years to eventually receive the benefits you are due.
Bankruptcies, declining health and death can all come from unnecessary delays
According to new information from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the median wait time for disability applicants to get a hearing before an ALJ is 506 days. That’s actually an improvement from back in 2015 when applicants faced a median wait of 839 days.
The consequences of that wait time can be severe when someone is disabled, unable to provide for themselves financially and in desperate need of medical care:
- Between 2008-2019, roughly 110,000 disability applicants died while waiting on their appeals to be decided.
- Between 2014-2019, more than 50,000 disability applicants were forced into bankruptcy while their appeals languished.
Clearly, delays in approving disability claims are destructive to both the applicants and their families.
For those who endure the wait, the odds of an eventual approval are high
The news isn’t all bad, however. Almost half of the people who made it through the appeals process in that 2008-2019 period were successful in their claims. That indicates that many entirely valid initial disability claims are unfairly denied and there is a real hope of overcoming those denials with an appeal.
All the same, it’s far better to gain approval for your Social Security Disability claim without having to seek a hearing. If you’re struggling with your claim or have received a denial on your initial application, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from an Oklahoma advocate.