The Federal budget and the government shut down have made headlines recently, with Congress having much difficulty reaching an agreement to pass the proposed budget. The budget includes funding for numerous federal agencies and programs, among those is funding for Social Security. Whether you are currently receiving SSD benefits, or you are in the process of applying for SSD benefits it is important to look at the impact Congressional funding has on this program.
A recent article explored the effects and detriments of what one author believes to be the underfunding of Social Security. Anyone familiar with, or currently going through the SSD application process understands that it can be lengthy, challenging and very daunting. Thousands of disabled Americans have died waiting for necessary SSD benefits. With more and more SSD claims being filed, and more baby boomers becoming eligible for retirement there is an increased demand and thereby an increased workload. This coupled with insufficient funding results in Social Security services suffering.
Many Senators are pushing for Congress to restore adequate funding for the program. But, in the meantime, underfunding has many unfortunate results, including significantly longer waits for services and benefits. For instance, whether you are filing a claim or seeking assistance with existing benefits, the average wait-time for a phone call to SSA was 18 minutes, while in-person service was no better, with many people waiting over an hour for service.
Further, if your SSD claim is denied and you need to file an appeal, the average wait time for a hearing on your appeal was 627 days in 2017. With proposed reductions to Social Security funding, the prospects are not good for seeing improvements in this area. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney to advocate and assist you with all of your SSD claims.
Source: Like everything else, Congress is underfunding the Social Security Administration, Max Richtman, The Hill, January 19, 2018.