If you ask anyone who has applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits what the application process is like, they might tell you that their initial request was denied. They may even tell you that this happened twice and even that the amount of time that they had to wait between applying and receiving a response took as long as a year. Some even die while waiting for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make a decision.

According to the SSA, there are currently over 800,000 Missouri residents and others from across the United States that are waiting to hear back on their appeals. During 2017, 10,002 applicants died while waiting for a decision about whether they qualified to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. This marked an increase of 1,003 over the previous year.

One member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Connecticut argues that it’s unacceptable that so many people end up dying as they wait for a decision. The number of deaths are expected to go up once 2018’s numbers are counted.

A spokesperson for the SSA highlights that the average appeal wait period is 540 days. They note that they’ve been bogged down by record-breaking applications being turned in and that they’re still struggling to catch up from when the 2008 recession occurred. The SSA contends that they’ve been able to increase their processing rates a little bit every month for the past 22 months.

One reason applications get denied is because the applicant doesn’t qualify as having a disability recognized by the SSA. In other cases, they haven’t provided enough evidence of how debilitating their injury or illness is or if it makes them unable to work. If you live in St. Louis and you want to know if you qualify to receive benefits for your serious impairment, then a Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine that.