Thinking About Applying for Disability Benefits? The Longer You Wait, the More Money You Lose

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Whether you are considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, both programs are administered by the same government organization, the Social Security Administration. And while the Administration has never been known for speedy handling of claims, the situation has grown much worse recently. Claimants are facing unprecedented delays.

That makes it more critical than ever to get your claim filed completely and quickly. Each month that passes is another month that you could have been receiving benefits.

Why the Situation is Getting So Difficult

Union officials who represent employees at the Social Security Administration have been warning for some time that their members are overworked and overstressed, and that burnout is causing many Administration employees to leave, which only serves to increase the strain on remaining staff.

While staffing numbers are at historic lows, the number of current and prospective benefits continues to climb, making it harder for staff to keep up. Reports show that those calling the Administration have to wait an average of half an hour to talk to a representative. Callers often receive busy signals or hang up in frustration, so that almost half of all calls made to the Administration go unanswered. There are more than a million disability claims on backlog, which is 60% higher than just five years ago. Processing times have nearly tripled.

Although the Administration has been trying to hire new staff, these workers take time to learn the intricate systems for handling claims. It can take 2-3 years for an employee to understand the complexities of the job, yet many new hires quit within their first year.

What Does This Mean?

If you are unable to work due to injury or illness, you may be entitled to benefits that can prove crucial to keeping up with your expenses and supporting your family. But with the Social Security Disability benefits system so backlogged, it will be harder than ever to obtain the benefits to make up for your work income.

Waiting for the situation to improve is not the answer. It could take years to reduce the backlog, and your needs will not wait. Instead, what you need to do is:

  1. Make sure you have accurate information about your eligibility for benefits and what you need to demonstrate that you qualify.
  2. Prepare an application that is supported by comprehensive documentation to prove how your disability prevents you from working.
  3. File your application as soon as it is fully prepared.

An experienced disability benefits attorney can assist with three steps in the process. In fact, with it so difficult to get answers to your questions from Administration staff, advice from a knowledgeable attorney will provide the easiest and most accurate way to learn what you need to know to obtain benefits.

Don’t Wait!

At Burgess & Christensen, we work on a contingency fee basis, so it does not cost you any more to get help at the start of your claims process than it would if you applied on your own and waited until later to seek legal help. You don’t pay any legal fees unless we help you recover benefits.

To schedule a private consultation, please click the button below or give us a call at 770-422-8111. Get started working on your claim today.