Pandemic Makes SSDI Delays Worse: Social Security Lawyer Explains
Several years ago, we talked about the massive backlog of SSDI cases.
At the time, that backlog was caused by a few things. While the Social Security Administration hadn’t seen their budget increase since 2010, the number of people receiving benefits increased by 7 million. Because of this, the SSA hadn’t been able to hire the judges and staff they needed to get through all of the extra cases. Also, each case had been taking longer.
As a result, the delay for an SSDI appeal stretched to 526 days. That’s right: the wait time to appeal an SSDI decision was more than a year.
Now, to make a bad situation worse, the pandemic has increased the backlog and wait times.
The Social Security lawyers at Casper & Casper explain how the pandemic might affect your case—and what to do in response.
How the Pandemic Affects SSDI Wait Times
Early on in the pandemic, the SSA was forced to temporarily close their agencies. While this was done for the safety of the employees and the public, the unfortunate side effect was even longer wait times. Since reopening, many agency employees are working remotely. They are still working through the backlog.
On top of the troubles at the SSA, delays at other agencies and institutions are setting back some cases.
For some SSDI applicants, it can be difficult to get a medical exam. Many medical offices stopped elective medical care during the early part of the pandemic. Some still haven’t gone back to in-person exams. And without medical evidence, an SSDI claim won’t be approved.
Furthermore, USPS delays mean that SSA employees aren’t receiving mailed documents from SSDI applicants quickly.
Essentially, it all adds up to a wait time that can be disastrous. After all, people who file for SSDI need benefits now.
What to Do If You Are Filing for SSDI
Even in normal times, filing for Social Security Disability can be challenging. It’s a lot to handle, especially when you’re also dealing with a long-term illness or disability. The paperwork is complex and the process is confusing. It’s easy to make a mistake or miss a deadline—resulting in a denial. (It’s an unfortunate fact that up to 70% of Social Security Disability claims are denied on the first try.)
Now, with all the delays, filing for SSDI might seem more overwhelming than ever.
However, don’t give up: there is hope! To improve the chances that your claim is approved the first time, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney. A qualified Social Security lawyer will be able to help you navigate the ins and outs of the SSDI filing process. Your SSDI lawyer will be there to make sure that you have all the evidence you need, that your paperwork is filled out correctly, and that everything is filed properly. Together with your attorney, you can work toward getting the benefits you need ASAP!
But whether you get a Social Security lawyer or go it alone, don’t wait to file! The good news is that, even if it takes a while to approve your claim, the Social Security Administration will give you benefits retroactively from the date you filed. That means the sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can get benefits—and the more benefits you’ll get. Start the claims process now, or you’ll miss out on benefits you deserve! (You can learn more about why you should file early here.)
Contact Us Today
You don’t have to go it alone. At Casper & Casper, we’re here to help you. We have attorneys dedicated to the field of Social Security Disability. They have decades of experience and knowledge to put to work for you.
When you need experienced Social Security lawyers you can trust, turn to Casper & Casper. Call us today at 800.784.2889 or fill out the contact form to schedule your free consultation.