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Congress may be ready to help ailing SSDI system

In a recent post, this blog discussed the long wait times for people who are trying to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Many people who are seriously ill or injured, and cannot work, have to wait a seemingly hopeless amount of time before someone in the SSDI system will evaluate their applications for benefits. Now, however, the United States Congress is trying to do something to help alleviate these long wait times.

Congress has earmarked roughly $150 million in new funding to help address the long line of people who are waiting for a decision on their applications for SSDI benefits. The additional funds could allow the Social Security Administration (SSA) to hire more administrative law judges, and other personnel, to sort through the 1.1 million applications that are currently in limbo. The current national average wait time for a hearing on SSDI benefits is 543 days.

Assuming that Congress does, in fact, move forward with the new funding measures, it still may take months before the SSA can make a noticeable dent in the backlog of SSDI applications. This is primarily because the SSA will need time to hire and train the new administrative law judges and staff.

The news that Congress has recognized this problem with the SSDI system is encouraging for people who need benefits. But, anyone in the Houston area who is in this position should not assume that new government action will solve their problems in securing SSDI benefits. Instead, they should do all that they can to thoroughly complete their applications for benefits.

Far too many people are waiting for SSDI benefits, or have been denied benefits despite meeting federal requirements. A Social Security attorney can help ensure that applicants are taking all appropriate steps to get benefits as quickly as possible. Likewise, an experienced attorney can advocate for those who have been wrongly denied Social Security.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, "Social Security Disability Program Gets Funding For Hearing Backlog," Jan. 11, 2017

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