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Long wait times for Social Security disability benefits

Because waiting for Social Security disability benefits can have serious consequences for disabled individuals badly in need of the benefits, it is helpful for disabled applicants to be familiar with the application and appeals processes. Greater than 800,000 Americans are currently waiting for an appeals hearing for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, thousands of disabled applicants die each year while they wait for benefits. One United States representative noted it was unacceptable for 10,000 disabled individuals to die while waiting for Social Security disability benefits.

A total of approximately 8.8 million disabled individuals rely on the safety net provided by Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration reports that the average wait time for an appeals hearing is 540 days. There has been a greater demand for benefits are baby boomers begin to age. Delayed SSD benefits have consequences.

A regional spokesman for the Social Security Administration noted that the wait list has been reduced over the past couple of years and that lawmakers have been providing more money to address the issue. It is helpful for disabled individuals to understand the challenging process of applying for disability benefits including work credit requirements and the listing of impairments the administration maintains to qualify for disability. Medical evidence is also required. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, the disabled individual must have the requisite work history and suffer from a medical condition severe enough that it prevents them from working.

Because so many people rely on Social Security disability benefits, it is important for disabled individuals to be familiar with the application process. Because many initial applications for benefits are denied, and the process is time-consuming, it is helpful to know how to provide the strongest application possible and to be familiar with the appeals process.

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