The wait for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits can, unfortunately, be long. As a result, it is important to be as familiar as possible with the application and appeals processes. There are greater than 1 million individuals awaiting a hearing for Social Security disability benefits and the average wait time is 602 days which can increased from less than a year 5 years ago. The social Security Administration is working to address the backlog of cases.
It is important to keep in mind that most applications for benefits are initially denied and that those awaiting their hearing have already had their application for benefits denied. Most applicants who complete the appeals process obtain benefits. A total of approximately 10.5 million individuals receive
SSD benefits. The average monthly benefit disabled individuals receive is $1,037.
To receive Social Security disability benefits, the applicant must have a doctor determine they are unable to work because of the severity of the disability they are suffering from. They must be suffering from a physical or mental medical condition that prevents them from working and is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. The appeals process includes a request for reconsideration in states that offer it, a hearing with an administrative law judge, followed by an appeal to an appeals council or an appeal to the federal court.
Waiting for much-needed Social Security disability benefits can be a hardship for disabled individuals as they struggle to meet their daily needs. Understanding the process to obtain benefits can be critical to the success of an application for Social Security disability benefits and something disabled individuals should be familiar with.
Source: The Denver Post, “Social Security disability backlog tops 1 million; thousands die on waitlist,” Stephen Ohlemacher, Sept. 18, 2017