In many ways, they are the people least-equipped to wait for long periods. They are the Americans who are waiting for a hearing their Social Security Disability appeal. According to recent news reports, more than a million people are today waiting to hear the results of their SSDI appeal.
The average wait for those decisions has extended to 602 days. That is about 20 months of waiting for people who are prevented by illness or injury from working.
One woman submitted her SSDI claim in 2014. According to a recent Marketplace.com news report, she and her SSDI attorney documented a number of medical reasons she is unable to work, including severe osteoarthritis, bipolar disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
She thought the evidence of her disability was overwhelming and that she might be approved for needed benefits right away, or at most, after a few months. Instead, she waited two years for a hearing.
Money was tight. She and her family often ate nothing but rice and beans to get by. Sometimes they couldn’t even afford the beans.
After her appeal was heard, there was another wait of approximately a year. Finally, she was approved for monthly benefits of $1,173. “It helps,” she says, “but it’s not enough.”
Her monthly benefits are just two dollars more than the average for disability recipients.
SSDI benefits are definitely not a way to get rich, but the monthly financial assistance and medical benefits (after two years) make all the difference for many recipients.