Frequent readers of our blog have seen us talk about the backlog and the long wait times for disability claims. But when we have talked about these topics in the past, referring to long wait times has sometimes come across as abstract to our readers. These topics have also rarely lent a face to the problem either.
That won't be the case in this week's blog post where we wanted to highlight the problem with long wait times by presenting an out-of-state case to our Missouri readers. The case we are about to present comes to us from New York where, just like here in Missouri, wait times on disability claims are close to a year. In this particular case though, you will see just how long some people are forced to wait before they receive the benefits they deserve.
Imagine that you are disabled and have been unable to work since December 2010. This was the reality for a woman in Ransomville, New York. Even though she had a legitimate need for disability benefits, it took nearly two years after filing a claim before it went before an administrative law judge.
Even though she was awarded benefits retroactively from March 2012, the damage was already done. According to local reports, she is still struggling financially and her house has gone into foreclosure.
Reports indicate that the average wait time for a disability claim in Buffalo, New York averages to about 14 months. Here in St. Louis, the wait time is no better. According to the Social Security Administration, the average wait time until a hearing is 11 months in our state.
But as our more frequent readers know, a long wait time is not the only problem a claimant could face. A majority of claims are turned down on their first try and must be appealed. To make sure their claim is heard, some people have sought help from accomplished attorneys. Without this legal help, some feel that their wait to receive benefits could have been much longer.
Source: WIVB News, "Three-year wait for Social Security Disability finally over," Al Vaughters, Sept. 3, 2014