Dugan & Associates, P.C.
No Recovery - No FeeFree Consultation
Serving all of Western Pennsylvania
Local: 412-353-3572 Toll Free: 888-99-D-U-G-A-N Toll Free: 888-99-D-U-G-A-N

The long, winding road to disability benefits

It's no surprise that the Social Security Disability Insurance system is overwhelmed and underfunded. Since its inception in 1954, the system has taken on more beneficiaries. Applications are flooding in and the backlog continues to grow, in part because the list of eligible SSDI disabilities and illnesses has expanded. Applicants have also increased as the unemployed have sought the protection of disability benefits after their unemployment benefits run out.

The system is simply ill equipped to handle the volume of cases and budget cuts have not helped the situation. The Social Security Administration says that in a group of 10 adult workers, three of them will become disabled before retirement age. In fiscal year 2011, approximately 3.4 million people applied for SSDI. Nearly three-quarters of those applications were rejected.

The wait time for benefits is also extremely long. There is a backlog of more than 1.8 million cases somewhere in the five-step application process. It can take more than 800 days to fully process a claim.

With all the rejection and waiting involved in the process, it is easy for applicants to be discouraged. However, there are experts who can help and advisors to give guidance in the process. A claim can be easily thrown out that it is worth the extra time and effort to make sure the application passes all inspection.

Many applicants go through the process alone and fail to meet the requirements. SSDI requires proof of paid payroll taxes and a medical impairment that will prohibit work for at least one year.

Benefits of SSDI go past the monthly payments. Once a person has received SSDI for two years, they become eligible for Medicare. Their dependents may also qualify for additional assistance if they are minors. SSDI also freezes earnings, preventing years of inactivity due to disability from negatively impacting retirement benefits.

Source: The Street, "Disabled or Hurt? Only 800 Days to Wait for SSDI Rejection," Joe Mont, Feb. 21, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Pittsburgh Office
4 West Manilla Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 412-922-0800
Pittsburgh Law Office Map

Beaver County Office
2002 McMinn St.
Aliquippa, PA 15001

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 724-775-7372
Aliquippa Law Office Map

North Hills
6400 Brooktree Ct.
Wexford, PA 15090

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 724-933-0133
Wexford Law Office Map

Butler County
2009 Mackenzie Way
Suite 100
Cranberry Twp, PA 16066

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 724-283-7063
Cranberry Twp Law Office Map

400 Penn Center Blvd.
Suite 101
Monroeville, PA 15232

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 412-261-1129

Westmoreland County
101 N. Main St.
Suite 104 - A
Greensburg, PA 15601

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 724-836-7454

Washington County
2400 Ansys Dr.
Suite 102
Canonsburg, PA 15317

Phone: 412-353-3572
Phone: 724-743-0463
Canonsburg Law Office Map

Serving all of Western Pennsylvania Free Consultation