Many people in Missouri and nationwide may apply for Social Security Disability benefits. However, the unfortunate fact is that many times their SSD claim is initially denied. When this happens, there is an appeals process in place. Following a denial at the reconsideration stage of appeal, a claimant can seek a hearing with an administrative law judge. However, there is currently a major backlog in such cases, which the Social Security Administration is trying to address.
When a claim for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, that is not the end of the story. In fact, most claims are initially denied, which is why it is crucial to be familiar with the SSD appeals process.
It's no secret that Social Security funding is a problem, and reports have projected that the administration will run out of adequate funds by the year 2034. But, funding is not the only problem facing the administration. There are a myriad of ways in which Social Security is failing to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled populations that it is intended to serve.
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.
The Social Security Administration is responsible for collecting data pertaining to its programs and beneficiaries. The SSA recently released data for November 2017 indicating that beneficiaries of social security had reached an all time high, with a total of 61,859,250 individuals receiving some form of social security benefits.
Last year, 7,400 people passed away while on the waitlist for SSD claims. This is a startling statistic, particularly if you are one of the over 1 million Americans currently waiting for a hearing on your SSD claim. A wait that currently averages about two years. But don't let these statistics deter you from applying and going through this evaluation process. In fact, what you should do is apply right away. One of the tips recommended by experts is to start the process of filing your claim immediately.
The Social Security Administration has announced that, effective in 2018, there will be a 2 percent cost-of-living increase, or COLA. This means that Boone County residents who are drawing SSDI or SSI benefits will see a few more dollars, a little over $25, in their pockets each month.
As Boone County residents who are currently in the midst of SSD appeals know, the wait time for a person to get a hearing before an administrative law judge is too long, so long, in fact, that the problem has attracted national attention, including the ongoing scrutiny of Congress. This Missouri Social Security disability blog has been following this story and continues to do so.
Despite an initiative to reduce wait times for SSD appeals to get disability benefits, reports say that the overall average wait time for people in Columbia, Missouri, and throughout the country has increased to a record 596 days, or about 1 year and eight months. Back in 2012, the wait time was slightly less than 1 year, that is, 353 days.
The Social Security Administration is in the midst of partnering with health care providers and hospitals across the country in order to be able to access medical records via a secure electronic communication. This ongoing program may one day help Missouri residents who find themselves needing to apply for disability benefits.