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USA Today Notes Social Security Disability Applications Backlog – Difficult Approval Process

Stack of four overflowing binders of paperwork.On December 2, 2012, USA Today published an article lamenting the backlog of SSDI claims. The article involved interviews with people who had been waiting months in order to get benefits claims approved and stressed that the system is set up for people’s claims to fail. The USA Today article also warns that the SSA’s disability benefits program is growing so quickly that it could be insolvent by 2016 unless changes are made.

Our Durham social security disability attorneys are not surprised by the claims made in the article about the difficulty of applying for benefits. Clients who are disabled need to have a lawyer to help guide them through the process of applying for benefits. Our attorneys are also concerned with the future solvency of the program and urge lawmakers to make the necessary changes to keep this important social safety net in place for those who need it.

The Challenge of Applying for SSDI Benefits

USA Today addresses many of the issues inherent in the current application process for SSDI benefits. For instance, the article discusses:

  • The long wait for claim approval. USA Today interviewed one disabled individual who had waited 2 ½ years to receive benefits and cited a 316 day waiting period for a benefits hearing in some parts of the country. As USA Today points out, this creates a serious hardship for people who can’t work and who have rent or mortgages to pay and families to support.
  • The complications inherent in applying for benefits. USA Today indicates that the system is set up to be very complicated in order to discourage fraudulent applications. It becomes even more difficult if your condition is not listed in the SSA’s list of qualifying impairments.
  • The high denial rate. According to one expert cited in the article, the system is set up to require appeals in many cases.
  • The difficulty of proving medical impairments. Some conditions, according to USA Today, can allow you to qualify for benefits but documenting that you have the required symptoms is very difficult.


USA Today also cited one recipient of SSDI benefits who indicated that it was almost impossible to collect without the help of an attorney. This is an important reality about the social security disability benefits program- those who want to be approved do need expert advice to get through the complicated claims process successfully.

Insolvency Risks

The backlog in claims, the high denial rate and the difficulty of qualifying for benefits are real problems with the social security disability system, but having good legal help can allow you to overcome these issues and get the benefits that you are entitled to.

A bigger problem, however, is the fact that the SSDI system is becoming overburdened and will be insolvent by 2016. There are around 11 million people throughout the United States who are relying on disability benefits and the country needs to take the necessary steps to make sure that those who are currently disabled and that those who are disabled in the future are taken care of.

If you are disabled and unable to work, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case. We have a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law who may be able to help you get the benefits you need.