July 30, 2001
Social Security Disability Delays
Deserving Patients Who Should File For Social Security Disability Are Likely To Experience Long Delays, Major Roadblocks And Possible Denial Of Their Disability Claim Because Of Not Knowing How The System Works
AUSTIN, TX -- March 23, 2001 --Individuals, including children, that are having to file for social security disability have no idea of the numerous road blocks and delays they are soon to face before receiving those critical disability benefits. In Texas alone, there is a back-log of over 25,000 applications that have been sitting for months just waiting to be processed. Why the delay?
According to a number of retired Disability Determination Examiners, it's the result of a number of negative factors coming together at the same time which are causing those people, including children, to have to wait for months before receiving any notification of approval or denial of their disability applications. What's so sad in this scenario is that most of the factors contributing to the delays could be solved at the beginning of the application process. Unfortunately, most of the critical information disability examiners use when developing an individual's case is not being written on the application in the beginning.
It's unfortunate that the Social Security field office personnel taking applications for disability, are not taking the time, or do not have time to review and make suggestions as to what is needed to help prevent long delays in the processing time of applications before they reach a Disability Examiner's desk.
Federal Panel Warns Bush Of Social Security Problems
In a recent article by the New York Times, a federal panel set up to investigate the Social Security Disability system quotes that, "The quality of service provided to the public by the Social Security Administration has deteriorated in recent years, and the problems are likely to grow as millions of baby boomers retire." Just a few of the serious problems targeted include:
Beneficiaries must wait two to four hours for assistance at many field offices and often cannot obtain accurate information by telephone, the panel said.
Social Security's disability programs, which provide assistance to 10 million people at a cost of $90 billion a year, are in chaos, swamped with a backlog of claims and litigation, the panel said.
The shortage of staff has affected the agency's performance, causing "delays in payment of benefits or payment of incorrect benefits", the advisory board said.
Applications for disability benefits, which require medical evaluation of a person's impairments, are far more complex and take much more time, Social Security officials said. More than one-fifth of the people receiving disability benefits have mental impairments.
Telephone service is inadequate. The Social Security Administration received 76 million calls on its toll-free telephone number last year, but one-third of callers got busy signals or hung up while waiting for assistance.
Social Security employees are having less face-to-face contact with claimants. This has increased the likelihood of errors and fraud.
Is There An Answer?
Yes, but it is probably not what most people want to hear. The answer is in the old saying, if you want it done right, do it yourself! When completing the application for disability benefits, the deserving applicant should leave nothing to question. Every item on every page should be absolutely complete, correct, accurate and current. The Disability Examiner must investigate everything on the application, and if any of the information is incorrect or unclear in any way, the case will be delayed for months. It is truly a shame that deserving individuals with severe disabling conditions are forced to wait month after month to hear a decision on their claim. Most of these people are desperately in need of benefits as soon as possible.
Mick Mickler AGAINST ALL ODDS!!!