Doctors, patients voice SSDI concerns

Following a news team's investigation of one man's Social Security disability claim debacle, the news station received a deluge of calls and emails from others also frustrated with the system. The original story followed one man who had fought for two years to get Social Security Disability benefits following a spinal injury documented by multiple doctors.

One week after the news team made an inquiry into the man's case, his application was approved and he was given $59,391 of back pay.

Among those who responded to the story was a man who suffers from both Crohn's disease and type 1 diabetes. No longer able to work in retail, he waited more than two years for Social Security disability benefits and, in the process, had to apply for bankruptcy and risk losing his home.

The news team checked into his claim and a quick pay-off of $36,000 followed. As in the previous man's case, Social Security said the case had been "in queue for payment."

Those applying for SSDI are not the only ones fed up with the system. The news station also received many responses from doctors who previously worked for Social Security analyzing claims.

One surgeon with more than 40 years of experience was one of dozens of doctors reviewing disability claims part time. He claims he was fired for opposing pay and policy changes, among them the change that doctors no longer only reviewed areas within their expertise. He says that such changes mean that applicants do not get a fair chance.

Social Security said such claims are baseless and that any changes made would result in better efficiency and lower costs for both applicants and the agency.

Source: WBAL TV, "Social Security Disability Benefits Delayed," Nov. 22, 2011

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