According to the most recent reports of the Social Security Administration, those waiting to have their denied claims for Social Security disability benefits reviewed by and administrative law judge has reached 1 million.
The average wait time for these appeals is two years, which is more than double what it was even five years. Many people die while waiting for an appeal. In fact, over 7,000 people who are listed as waiting for an appeal last year turned out to have died while waiting.
People in the Detroit area need to recognize that if they should ever have to file a disability claim, they will more likely than not need to appeal to an administrative law judge. Applications for benefits are frequently denied at the initial stages, and it is fairly well known that the best chance of getting benefits lies in a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Social Security Administration, between both of its major disability programs, is already paying monthly checks to over 18 million people, the most number of people ever. Nevertheless, it is trying to clear up the backlog by hiring more administrative law judges as well as the additional employees need to support their work. However, at least according to some, budget constraints are preventing the Administration for effectively fighting the current backlog.
Even though this blog has discussed how an attorney can help expedite the process, the reality is that the backlog is primarily a broader policy problem that will likely call for a congressional fix. In the meantime, the best thing people can do is put together the best applications for benefits possible. In many cases, getting legal assistance in doing so is recommended.
Source: News Channel 3, "Social Security Administration: Disability backlog tops 1 million," Sept. 18, 2017.