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Waiting and waiting for Social Security Disability benefits

From every paycheck you have earned, the federal government dipped in and took a percentage of it to help pay for Social Security Disability Insurance and other societal safety nets. The idea is to provide a limited income to those who are prevented from working by injury or illness.

The problem is that many disabled American workers simply don't live long enough to get their SSDI benefits. The disability benefits approval process is in many cases simply too slow for many who have serious health conditions.

A recent newspaper editorial on the subject of long SSDI approval waits cited the case of a rural man who fell on some ice back in 2011. His fall injuries left him unable to continue working at his good-paying job in a paper mill.

The newspaper points out that a person in his or her mid-50s, making $55,000 a year, as this man was before his fall, could expect about $14,000 a year in SSDI benefits.

Those modest benefits only begin after approval of the claim, of course. In between the time they file for disability benefits and that approval, they get nothing. Because that wait now typically stretches longer than a year (for many, closer to two years), the wait can be financially ruinous.

Many SSDI claimants wind up losing their homes, declaring bankruptcy and so on. With no income of any sort, and unable to work, they are cast adrift.

Why are the approval delays so long? The Times Union points out that a number of factors combine to drag the process out, including inadequate funding and an increase in SSDI applications as the Baby Boom generation aged and dealt with more health problems.

No one appears to be able to make the approval process faster, but an experienced SSDI attorney can help make your application or your appeal ready for approval. A skilled lawyer understands the paperwork and process and can help you document your medical condition.

Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler to schedule a free consultation.

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