March 8, 2018

Why Does It Take So Long to Get Disability Benefits?

Lack of leadership at Social Security likely contributing to disability backlog

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has not had a Senate-appointed commissioner in five years. A recent House Ways & Means hearing focused on the lack of a commissioner to lead the SSA and the challenges and limitations currently facing the agency with an acting commissioner.

“The SSA needs the strong and consistent leadership of a Senate-confirmed commissioner to keep the agency focused on providing the service Americans expect, need, and deserve,” said House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson, R-Texas.

One challenge requiring aggressive leadership is the backlog affecting more than 1 million disability applicants waiting an average 605 days for their hearings. Most people who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are denied at the initial application level (unless they have a representative), and must wait months or years for a hearing to determine if they will obtain the benefits they deserve. Getting expert assistance, when you first apply for disability benefits, can help you avoid the backlog.

Click here to watch the Congressional hearing.

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