The backlog of claims for social security disability for injured workers has left approximately 40,000 Ohio workers hanging, without access to the benefits they need.
When applying for social security disability, many people who submit claims wait six months or more before their eligibility is initially determined.
With less than 25 percent of applications gaining approval the first time they are submitted, appealing an initial decision is necessary for the majority of applicants. Appealing a claim that was denied adds more months to the process, as applicants await a hearing with a judge to review their claim.
The amount of time it takes to receive approval is problematic for many. Claimants have passed away while waiting for a hearing. Additionally, some claimants are stuck with subpar living conditions or have found themselves homeless, as they are unable to work and do not have disability benefits.
SSA Backlogged For Decades
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) claims processing backlog is not a new problem; the backlog of processing appeals has existed since the Ford administration.
In 2007, numerous initiatives were announced with the goal of reducing backlogged cases, lowering processing times, and improving overall efficiency. With these initiatives in mind, the SSA aimed to reduce the number of pending claims from 743,800 to 466,000 by the end of 2013.
However, instead of reducing the number of pending social security disability claims, the number of undecided claims climbed substantially. As of March 2015, there were more than one million open claims in Ohio awaiting approval or denial.
If you are experiencing difficulties and delays as you work toward a disability claim approval, contact the experienced social security disability lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. Our skilled attorneys can help ensure your claim is approved quickly and that you are able to access the benefits you deserve.