According to a recent article, applicants for Social Security disability benefits waited up to seven hours at a local field office, afraid to jeopardize their chance at receiving assistance by leaving the line. The specific office location was in Holyoke, Massachusetts. However, newly proposed budget cuts to the SSA are unlikely to remedy such delays for applicants across the country.
As we discussed in a recent post, the SSA's operating budget has decreased 10 percent since 2010, even though the number of individuals seeking Social Security disability insurance or other types of assistance from the SSA grew by about 12 percent in that same period. Since 2010, the SSA has been forced to close over 60 of its field offices, in addition to 500 mobile offices. Yet the backlog of applicants waiting for a disability hearing has grown to over 1.1 million.
This news confirms what our disability law firm has learned from experience: The process of applying for Social Security benefits takes time. Even apart from administrative delays, it takes time to gather evidence.
For example, an applicant will need to work with his or her doctors to compile adequate medical evidence that substantiates not only the diagnosis of a disability, but also the functional impact of that impairment upon the individual's ability to work. For that reason, it is important to be honest with doctors about all symptoms that an individual may be experiencing, even if unrelated to the individual's primary diagnosis. It is also beneficial to keep a journal of how an illness or condition affects an individual on a daily basis.
Our attorneys understand the type of evidence that disability examiners typically find persuasive in an SSDI application. If you are disabled and unable to work, you cannot afford to submit anything less than the strongest application possible, complete with supporting evidence. Our law firm provides a free consultation of a disability applicant's claim. Call our toll free number at 1-866-886-0660 for help with your disability benefits case.
Source: WWLP, "Some waited about 7 hours at the Holyoke Social Security Office," Tashanea Whitlow, Aug. 9, 2016