The growing wait time for approval of disability benefits is a problem that continues to plague the process. Some people become homeless waiting for a Social Security disability hearing, while others cannot afford their medications and still others die before their request reaches the desk of a judge.
With overtaxed judges and large caseloads, people across America are waiting to have their disability cases heard. Miami ranks first for having longest wait time 22 months. Delays in other cities are long, too.
Cities like Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Spokane and Fort Myers have wait times of 20 months, and Chattanooga, Atlanta and Baltimore come in at 19 months. Fort Smith, Arkansas, has the shortest wait time of eight months, while the national average hovers around one year and four months.
Petitioners usually wait an additional four to five months post-hearing for decisions. One million hearings are waiting to be heard. Many believe the system is broken.
In 2012, steps were made to hear appeals in a timelier manner by capping the number of cases judges would hear. However, many judges, feeling the pressure, approved more cases because they were less time consuming than denials. Then, the program cost spiked.
A solution does not seem apparent. Last year, the House Oversight and Government Reform committee made allegations stating that judges were approving too many cases and costing taxpayers billions of dollars. According to the committee, four judges cost taxpayers $11 billion.
Other judges were alleged to not approve cases fast enough and risked disciplinary measures because they took too much time poring over cases before reaching decisions.
Meanwhile, many Americans await hearings and hope for the best, trying to stay out of poverty and not become burdens to their families.
If your claim for disability benefits has been denied, a Phoenix Social Security disability benefits lawyer can help you appeal the claim and get the benefits you need. Contact Dayes Law Firm PC to schedule your free case evaluation.