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SSDI claim wait times are increasing

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Social Security Disability

The wait times for Social Security Disability Insurance claims are increasing. As a result, many people in need of these benefits are finding themselves left in the lurch. A key reason for this is the growing number of disability claims Americans are filing. The number of claims filed is overwhelming the U.S. Social Security Administration and creating backlogs in processing.

Budget constraints and staffing shortages are further contributing to delays in reviewing and approving SSDI claims.

Why wait times are increasing

Another factor contributing to longer wait times is the complexity of the SSDI application process. Applicants have to provide extensive documentation and medical evidence to support their disability claims. This can prove time-consuming, and this documentation can prove challenging to gather. The SSA’s strict eligibility criteria and stringent review process also mean the administration denies many initial claims, resulting in lengthy appeals and further delays.

How longer wait times impact applicants

The increasing wait times for SSDI claims have significant consequences for applicants who cannot work due to disabilities. Many individuals rely on SSDI benefits to cover essential living expenses such as housing, food and medical care. Delays in receiving benefits can cause financial hardship. They can also exacerbate existing health conditions, leading to further stress and uncertainty for applicants and their families.

According to AARP, the average wait time after filing an SSDI claim in 2024 is 225 days. In 2016, the average waiting period was 110 days. Addressing the challenges contributing to long wait times requires increased resources, improved efficiency in claim processing and greater support for applicants navigating the disability benefits system.


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