According to a USA Today article published in December 2012, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is struggling to keep up with the millions of Americans applying for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits across the country. The SSDI program, which is funded by workers’ payroll deductions, is designed to help individuals in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. who become injured or ill and can no longer work and earn an income. However, as the nation ages and effects of the recession continue to plague Americans, millions are filing disability claims, and Social Security can’t work through them fast enough. If you are suffering from a debilitating injury or medical condition, and you are unable to work in Tennessee, consult our experienced attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss the possibility of filing an SSDI claim for disability benefits.
Appealing a Denied SSDI Claim
The unfortunate truth is that most applicants for SSDI benefits are denied in their initial written request, typically because they fail to provide enough evidence of a disability. After an SSDI claim is rejected twice, the claimant’s next step is an appeal before a judge, which can take months or even a year to obtain and is not guaranteed to result in a claim approval. The SSA has increased staff and improved automation in an effort to reduce the backlog of people seeking hearings and to cut back the overall waiting time associated with the SSDI application process. However, on a national scale, approximately 750,000 disabled individuals still await an SSDI appeal hearing for disability benefits.
SSDI Application Process is Complex
A main reason SSDI applicants in Tennessee and nationwide are seeing long delays between application and approval of benefits is a safety mechanism built into the program. In an effort to prevent fraudulent SSDI claims, the Social Security Administration has made the application process complex and requires extensive documentation and details. “It seems the system is set up to require a lot of people to appeal,” notes a spokesperson for a non-profit organization in Arizona that assists people with disabilities. “They have a list of disabilities that are a slam dunk, like being a quadriplegic or having kidney failure. If your condition is not on the list, it’s harder to get on.” For this reason and others, many individuals seeking SSDI benefits choose to enlist the help of a qualified attorney with experience navigating the sometimes confusing process of filing a claim.
Contact Our Reputable Attorneys Today
In an effort to address the backlog of SSDI applications, the SSA is working to streamline the application process, implementing changes like working with doctors to send medical records electronically. Unfortunately, as the benefits application process drags on for many disabled individuals in TN and throughout the U.S., financial struggles caused by delayed benefits and the inability to work are common. If you are struggling with a disability that prevents you from working to support yourself and your family in Tennessee, contact our reputable lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to explore your compensation options. You may have grounds to file an SSDI claim for benefits from the Social Security Administration, and our attorneys can also help navigate the appeals process for denied SSDI claims.