Just how long do Social Security disability applicants have to wait to appeal their denied claims? According to an alarming report from the Associated Press, as long as two years in some states.
The AP's investigation found that Miami had the longest SSDI waits nationwide, with an average wait of 22 months to see an administrative judge following a claim denial. Brooklyn, Spokane, Fort Myers weren't much better with 20-month waits. Nationally, the average wait to appeal an SSDI denial is 16 months.
These long waits can have devastating effects on applicants who are in desperate need of relief and medical attention. Unable to work and lacking the support they need, many must rely on loved ones to support them until they get to see a judge and make their case for benefits. Others find themselves without crucial medication or insufficient or intermittent medical treatment that leaves them suffering.
Experts believe that the long waits are the result of systemic issues in the administrative SSDI process. Most administrative judges are overburdened with massive caseloads and are caught up in the pressure to process cases quickly while simultaneously avoiding approving undeserved benefits.
Avoid an Initial SSDI Denial
As with any bureaucratic process, some delay in the SSDI process is to be expected. However, the current waits associated with the SSDI appeals are often too costly for denied applicants who need the opportunity to speak to an administrative judge. The AP found that once seen by a judge, nearly half of these applicants received the benefits they initially filed for.
The best way to avoid these waits is to ensure that your initial application is as compelling and thorough as possible. At Coats & Todd, our compassionate and knowledgeable Dallas SSDI lawyers are well-versed in crafting these applications and making sure that our clients’ legitimate claim to SSD benefits vividly comes across in their filing. Even for clients who need to file an appeal, our firm can prepare them for their administrative hearing and give their claim the very best chance at an approval before the judge.
Ensure that your SSD claim properly communicates your needs. Call us today to request a free consultation to get started.