When an individual becomes disabled due to illness, injury or mental condition, his or her ability to work may be impacted immediately. That individual may require medical treatment and may have trouble covering the costs of that medical care and the costs of everyday living. The federal government offers disabled Americans the opportunity to apply for Social Security Disability benefits in part to address the financial consequences that can result from disability. Unfortunately, too many Americans are forced to wait for months or even years as their application is processed and appealed.
Not every initial application for SSD benefits must be appealed. Some applications are approved during the initial application process. Some particularly severe cases even qualify for compassionate allowance waivers, which allow applicants to receive benefits within a matter of weeks, as opposed to months or years. However, a great number of applications are initially denied.
When applications are initially denied, they may be appealed. Unfortunately, the waiting period for initial approval can take months or years. Additional appeals processes can similarly take months or years. As applicants wait, their bills may pile up and the stresses of waiting for their benefits to be approved may contribute to a worsening of their medical conditions.
Please, if you believe that you may qualify for SSD benefits, speak to an attorney about your case. An attorney may be able to aid you in ensuring that your application is complete and that you avoid much of the red tape that leads to long wait times and lengthy appeals processes.
Source: Orange County Register, “Wait for Social Security disability benefits can be years long,” Matthew Fleming, Dec. 6, 2014