Thousands of people who are on the waiting list for Social Security disability payments will pass away before they find out if they are approved or not.
There are a few reasons for this, starting with the size of the list. The backlog, as of recent reports, is now over 1 million people. It takes time to process so many applications, and that time is more than a lot of the people who have applied realistically have remaining.
Wondering how long that wait can be? Some reports indicate that it averages just under 24 months. That is just an average, meaning some people are forced to wait more than two years.
Frustratingly for many of these individuals, they may have already been applied and processed once. The majority of the initial applications are denied. People can then appeal that decision. Many of them do get benefits after the appeal goes through, but that's what takes so long.
When reading about this long, drawn-out process, one might assume that a lot of money is at stake. While that is true in a cumulative sense, it's not true for each person who applies. The average of each payout -- again, some are higher or lower -- is just $1,037 per month.
Family members are often devastated to find out that benefits were warranted the whole time. One 58-year-old man had a heart attack and died, for instance, and his family found out 10 months after his passing that he was entitled to the SSD benefits.
As complex and important as this process is, those who are trying to work through it need to know everything they can about their rights and how to make the process go smoothly.
Source: The Denver Post, "Social Security disability backlog tops 1 million; thousands die on waitlist," Stephen Ohlemacher, The Associated Press, Sept. 18, 2017