How the Social Security Disability Case Backlog Could Affect You

By Disability Group

The enormous volume of claimants for Social Security Disability has created a backlog of cases.  For many this can mean from the time of initial application it can take 1, 2, or even 3 years before they receive benefits!  Because of the extreme backlog it is important that you do everything you can in order to have the most complete and accurate information possible right from your initial application.

The problem has increasingly worsened, so that in his testimony to the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, the President of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, the Honorable D. Randall Frye stated:

“At the rate of reduction in FY 2010, without considering any increase in applications, it would still take over four years, to the first of CY 2015, to reduce the backlog to a level of under 400,000 cases, the number Social Security Administration says it needs to keep the processing pipeline filled.”

What Can I Do? A Few Suggestions For Dealing With The Backlog

Hire Representation- Claimants with a professional Representative have a statistically higher chance of receiving benefits, so if you are having a hard time filling an application, getting medical records, or with the process in general consider hiring a Representative.

Write Your Congressman- They work for you, now have them help!  It is possible that your elected officials can help expedite the process and allow you to claim benefits earlier.  Simply write a letter outlining your situation and what stage of the determination process you are in.

Have Complete Records- Make sure you are constantly seeing the doctor and forwarding their documentation to the Social Security Administration and your Representative. This is the most important factor in determining if you will receive benefits.

Return All SSA Paperwork– SSA is constantly sending you forms to sign and fill out throughout the application process. It is absolutely necessary that you complete these forms thoroughly and return them as soon as possible so SSA can continue working on your case. Without them, SSA may deny you or place a hold on your claim.