November 21, 2018

18,000+ PEOPLE DIED WAITING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS IN 2 YEARS

WHILE MORE THAN 1,000,000 APPLICANTS WAIT OVER 600 DAYS

The Social Security Administration (SSA) reported that in the last 2 years, 18,701 people dies while waiting to learn if they will receive their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI).

18.701.

This number reflect the brutal state of affairs of the Social Security Disability Insurance program. By the end of 2017, about 1 million former workers will be forced to wait  over 600 days just to find out if they are eligible for disability benefits. In some cities, the wait can be as long as 800 days. Note that these filers cannot work full time nor earn more than $ 1,170 per month while waiting for a decision.

“The simplest explanation is that there isn’t enough money.” According to a recent Washington Post article: “The Social Security Administration’s budget has been roughly stagnant since 2010, while the number of people receiving retirement and disability benefits has risen by more than 7 million, despite a slight decline in the disability rolls beginning in 2015 as some beneficiaries reached retirement age.”

recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office declared SSA’s Compassionate Allowance program needed improvements to ensure individuals with the most severe disabilities obtain benefits in a timely manner. This program is designed to fast-track cases with serious conditions, including certain cancers, through the disability benefits application process.

The initial application process might take what seems be forever, but ff your social security disability benefits are denied (and the vast majority are), the worker only has 60 days to file an appeal. After 60 days, the petitioner has to start the process all over again. If your case has been denied call our office for a FREE, no obligation consultation. Appeals that are handled with an experienced Social Security attorney have a 60% higher success rate. And there are NO fees unless the appeal is successful.

Let’s hope that the Social Security system receives the support it, and the workers it aims to help, it desperately needs.

THE FIRST STEPS IN FILING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS

HOW TO GET STARTED

You or your family member are preparing to start filing for social security disability benefits. You can file for SSD (based on your contributions) or SSI (based on your need) based on your circumstances. The process starts with filing your application either in person at your local Social Security office or online here.

Martin Hoffman, Senior Partner at Hoffman, Larin and Agnetti PA prepared this video introduction to walk you through the initial steps in filing for your social security disability benefits.

If you are like the vast of filers, your case will be denied. You can appeal but note that you only have 60 days to file an appeal and, sad to say, even fewer appeals are approvedDelay and you will need to start the process all over again. It is a fact that appeals handled by experienced attorneys have a 50% higher success rate.  There are no upfront fees and attorneys only collect their fees if your benefits, including back benefits, are awarded.

Mr. Hoffman,  a member of  NOSSCR and has earned a Distinguished Attorney rating with Martindale Hubble, has been fighting for the rights of South Floridians for over 35 years. Listen to one clients story.

5 STEPS A JUDGE USES TO DECIDE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS

You decided to file for social security disability and start the long process. You begin collecting medical records, work history, various reports and statements; check out this article outlining this process. We urge you to make sure the application is accurate;  getting a hearing can take up to 376 to 682 days in Florida. If you are missing critical documents, you will have to go back to Go (only you won’t be collecting $200).

Once your claim comes up for hearing, the Social Security Judge will go through a 5 step “sequential evaluation process” to decide whether you meet Social Security’s definition of disability. After any one of these steps, the Judge might determine that you are able to work and deny your claim. Frustrating but you are entitled to file an appeal.

The 5 Step Process that will decide your Social Security Disability benefits:

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