Social Security Disability Application Process Wait Times Are At All Time Highs
Americans with disabilities are frustrated with the exhausting process of filing a disability claim. But now more than ever wait times have soared to new heights. The average waiting period used to be three to five months; however, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has recently reported taking over 198 days, or over six months!
The SSA processes disability claims through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI). Once the application requirements are met, the application gets turned over to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office of the state in which state the claimant resides. Applications for benefits can be filed online, by phone or in a nearby SSA office, but even wait time percentages of callers has increased tremendously. Even AARP voiced their concerns by sending a letter to the Social Security Administration expressing its concerns over the long customer service waits.
CNBC reports this is “one of many signs that Social Security’s services have not been able to keep up as the agency’s funding falls short of what it needs.” A steady escalation in the number of beneficiaries requesting benefits climbed by 22% to more than 70 million, including both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries. Thus, explaining how the federal agency has been stretched to their limits as their operating budget decreased by 14% from 2010 to 2021.
Will Times Get Better in 2023?
Clearly the Pandemic has not helped workforce matters. Congress always has the opportunity to improve operation conditions each fiscal year. Unfortunately, no appropriations bill has been enacted for 2023 that we have seen to date.
Without any additional funding for Social Security, the SSA’s customer service problems will worsen and create even greater concerns as time prevails. The SSA might possibly have to be forced to freeze hiring tactics.
Although “Joe Biden has requested over $1B for the operating budget of the SSA in 2023, there is a current proposal that calls for raising Social Security’s operating budget by $800 million, or 6%, just shy of what the President is looking for” says The People’s Representative.
The Trickle-Down Effect
It’s not just disability applicants that are feeling the effects of long wait times. Anyone that needs agency access for other reasons such as reporting a family member’s death, getting a name change or requesting a new card, are also being affected. Employee turnover rates at SSA offices around the U.S continue to be rise and routine tasks have become a real struggle.
“There are a number of key lawmakers, policymakers who are really starting to zero in on this as a problem that can’t stay on the back burner anymore,” says Cristina Martin Firvida, vice president of government affairs at AARP.
Lowery Law Group Help
“Post pandemic, the wait times for initial disability claims processing is at an all-time high,” says Marie Lowery of Lowery Law Group. “I have been focused toward advocating with local congressional offices for Social Security to reach fair and accurate decisions in a timely manner.”
Don’t hesitate to contact Lowery Law Group today for assistance in getting your claim processed. Contact them now!
Contact Lowery Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling cases in South Carolina as well as Georgia.