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How are budget cuts affecting SSA's public services?

Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is complicated and often overwhelming for Colorado residents already struggling with a physical or cognitive disability. A potential applicant may find him or herself turning to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for guidance and find they are facing long waiting times.

The SSA is unique because it touches the lives of millions of Americans. In 2017 alone, it paid around $990 billion in benefits to more than 60 million retired or disabled workers, and recipients of Supplemental Security income. They provide a toll-free tele-service, website and more than 1,200 field offices to interact with the public. Unfortunately, all these services are being severely affected by recent budget cuts.

Even though 1 million new claimants come on board each year, staffing and budget cuts have left the SSA struggling to provide timely and effective public services. Callers to the toll-free number can be on hold for around two hours during peak time and thirty minutes on average.

The average waiting time to see a claim's agent in an office has also gone up, paperwork is being processed slowly and it can take years to correct mistakes in the papers. Though, there has been news of funding recently, the hole SSA finds itself is in deep and consistent support is essential for its progress.

It might also be possible to consult an experienced attorney for guidance on how to proceed with one's application. Getting it right in the first go and ensuring all necessary paperwork accompanies the application can go a long way when mistakes can set the process back for years.

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