SSD Case Backlog Continues to Cause Delays

Calendar and hourglass on a table

A woman from New York was initially denied SSD benefits in 2012, and once her appeal was granted five years later, the battle was far from over. The SSA continued to give her the runaround regarding the benefits checks she desperately needed. This example makes the case for how important it is to partner with an experienced and skilled SSD lawyer from the beginning.

The woman owned a private practice as a social worker, but her diseases took a severe toll on her daily activities. She suffers from chronic migraines, visual impairments and other illnesses that made it incredibly difficult to work, forcing her to stop.

When her Medicaid and Medicare coverage lapsed, she was forced to pay out-of-pocket for medical treatment, while she no longer was working. She applied for Social Security Disability in order to help her with her necessary medical treatments.

The Negative Effects of the Backlog

Unfortunately, she was denied benefits in 2012, and had to wait five long years to have a hearing with a judge. Due to the backlog of cases, she had a video conference with a judge in Iowa. A video conference is not an ideal situation to have for someone with disabilities to accurately display evidence.

The backlog of SSD cases is a serious issue.  As we stated in a recent blog, more than 9,000 people died waiting for SSD hearings in 2016.

From 2010-2018, the SSA closed 67 offices and reduced their operating budget by 9%, all while the number of beneficiaries has risen. All remaining offices now experience increased wait times and excessive telephone hold times. These service reductions cause long delays for appeal decisions.

The SSA was awarded a $40 million dollar increase in their operating budget for 2019, in the hopes of reducing backlogs and wait times.

Why You Need an Experienced SSD Lawyer

In the end, she was awarded benefits from the judge. But this exhausting fight was not over, as she should have received her check seven months ago, but was still getting the runaround from the SSA, and did not get straight answers about her check.

Eventually, a news advocacy team helped come to the bottom of the situation and she received her check. Yet, if an attorney with experience in complex SSD appeals—like those at Disability Attorneys of Michigan—had been able to advocate for her, such intervention may not have been necessary.

This is why it is critically important to partner with an experienced and skilled team of Social Security Disability lawyers from the beginning, who can guide clients through the process and help clients obtain benefits. Skilled lawyers know the ins and outs of SSD and how to best serve clients, whether helping fill out an application or skillfully representing clients in an appeal hearing.

We Can Help

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s experienced Social Security Disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.


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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.