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Prepare For Long Waits For An SSDI Decision

The wait for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is longer than ever. According to reporting by the Washington Post, the number of people who have died while waiting for a SSDI decision increased 15 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 8,699 deaths to 10,002. Waiting is hard, and it seems that for those waiting for the lifeline of SSDI benefits, it just got a lot harder.

Why does it take so long?

The SSDI application and appeals process has never been known to be a swift one. But there are reasons why the wait is now longer than ever:

  • Budget. According to The Washington Post, The number of people who now receive Social Security at retirement age or SSDI benefits has risen by 7 million since 2010. The budget for the department has not increased in this time to reflect that increase. In other words, there's simply a backlog, a void between the need and the resources available to handle that need.
  • More medical documentation required. Because SSDI applications now require more robust medical documentation than they used to, it takes judges longer to handle each case. This slows down the number of cases they can complete every week.As a result, things slow down for everyone.

So how long will it take?

The Washington Post reports that average wait times have increased from 353 days in 2012 to 596 days in 2017.

Don't give up

While those numbers are discouraging, they also underline the importance of having an experienced lawyer on your side that can shepherd your case through the process and help give you the best possible chance at SSDI benefit approval.

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