Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

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Photo of David Dopkin

Thousands die while waiting on disability determination

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2020 | Social Security Disability

A working individual who becomes disabled due to an injury or condition that’s expected to last at least a year or to result in the person dying might choose to file for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI). The payments from SSDI are meant to help the person cover the regular life expenses that they need help with since they’re unable to work. Unfortunately, getting those benefits isn’t exactly a quick process.

CBS News recently published a piece that notes from 2008 to 2019 nearly 110,000 Americans passed away while they were waiting on a hearing about their SSDI benefits. That’s an atrociously high number of people who paid their dues into the system and perished without getting the help they needed.

The lengthy wait times once had a median wait time of 839 days. That was in 2015. By 2019, that time had decreased to 506 days. That’s still more than a year that these applicants are left without any reliable income since they can’t work.

This has another impact. Around 50,000 individuals filed for bankruptcy protection from 2014 to 2019 while they were waiting for their cases to be heard and resolved. Some people have experienced their utilities being disconnected or being evicted – all because of the unacceptable time that it takes their case to go through the system.

There isn’t any magic formula for getting an appeal to be heard quickly or for it to be successful. People who do appeal have a good chance of receiving benefits. It’s reported that around 49% of those who appeal make a successful claim. If you’re in the process of seeking SSDI benefits, or even SSI benefits, working with an attorney who’s familiar with appeals might be beneficial.