Los Angeles, CA (PressExposure) September 25, 2007 -- As of this date, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set a record backlog on disability appeals filed by members. It is said that an outstanding number of unresolved cases has reached 745,000. Moreover, the waiting period for the approval of a disability claim has increased to 17 months prior to the filing date. These lengthy waits for the social security disability claimants may be one of the causes that lead to unpleasant circumstances in their lives. The delay in social security disability benefits caused bankruptcies, foreclosures of properties, addiction to drinks and drugs. Others, also suffered from depression, couples underwent divorce due to financial troubles and some even attempted suicide due to the succession of long waits and denials.
Los Angeles, California, August 1, 2007 - Alarmingly, the SSA explained that this backlog in expected to double in a period of six years. It could increase to a million by the year 2010. In some other states and cities, the applicants must wait for more than a two and a half year period before the agency hand over its initial decision on their appeals.
Among the 2.5 million annual disability claimants who filed their initial petitions to the SSA, more or less 65% are denied. A little less than two thirds of this number will be granted finally, according to the most recent statistics.
Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue affirmed that most of the disabled claimants have died even before their scheduled hearing. However, he expressed intent to make the process of filing of disability claims easier for the members. He is going to introduce an advancing simpler system for significant cases, especially cancer patients.
Furthermore, to widen the coverage of the Social Security services offered, the able commissioner is implementing a program update and expansion of the list of illnesses covered to be eligible. He is also setting up a national office where advanced electronic based hearings can be made. This method, he says, will ease the backlogs in some of the greatly affected states in the country, particularly in Atlanta.
In his attempt to push through with these helpful programs, Astrue declared that the U.S. Congress fell short on giving budget to the agency for the past six years. Their financial resources are limited, $1 billion less than what was desired by the president. He also admitted that he could not tell straight to the Congress that they are doing well, at this time, as they are supposed to do.
Astrue announced that these actions are not sufficient to break off the increasing backlog due to our aging population. "Social Security projects cases to grow about 90,000 annually over the next five years. That means that the backlog could hit one million in 2010," he stated. He also believes that there is no easy way to resolve this issue.