Increased Social Security Disability Claims and Benefit Recipients are Creating Some Major Concerns
In the last 10 years, the number of people receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits increased from about 7.6 million to 11 million. Since 2007, claims for benefits increased by 25 percent. The massive volume of claims activities has led to backlogs and delays that prevent disabled individuals from receiving the funds they need within a reasonable period. At the other end of the scale, people often receive benefits beyond the time they need them.
The surge in baby boomers, who are more prone to disability, is considered a main contributor to overstressed SSD procedures. However, a June 2013 CBS News report indicates that investigators from the House Oversight and Government Reform committee cited other concerns, such as the following:
- The SSA is approving a significant rate of disability benefits after claims are rejected within the initial local review process.
- Pain and mental disorders, the most difficult medical issues to assess objectively, are also the most common types of claims.
- Determining continuing eligibility for benefits requires a periodic review process. With a backlog of 1.3 million follow-up reviews, numerous people continue to receive benefits even after an improved medical condition would allow them to return to work.
Since the Social Security trustees project the SSD trust fund will be depleted in 2016 without quick congressional action, it is more important than ever for the disabled to file detailed, accurate claims to help reduce the wait time to receive decisions. Even though claimants can file their own claims, retaining an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer early in the process can help avoid undue delays and appeals for the funds they need.