The average wait time for an appeals hearing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is about 600 days, according to two United States senators. These long waits could have significant impacts on West Virginia residents. President Donald Trump has requested $12.5 billion be allocated to the Social Security Administration's administrative budget in the fiscal year 2018. However, a recent appropriations bill would reduce the agency's budget by $460 million.
The senators are worried that the SSA would not have the resources necessary to work toward clearing the backlog. Furthermore, the senators' letter noted that articles are being published with headlines stating that thousands are dying while on waitlists. Acknowledging the issues with such long wait times, the SSA says it plans to unveil the Compassionate And REsponsive Service (CARES) plan. It would aim to use modern technology to improve business processes in an effort to achieve better results.
If someone has a physical or mental condition that leaves him or her unable to work, he or she may be able to apply for SSDI. However, many people's initial applications may be denied. This may mean that they are unable to receive the necessary resources to maintain a reasonable standard of living while managing their condition. Talking with a social security disability attorney may make it easier to get an initial application or appeal approved.
A lawyer may be familiar with the types of paperwork needed to show that a disability exists. For instance, medical records combined with letters from friends or family members may be enough to show that a person should be entitled to disability benefits. Legal counsel also may be able to collect paperwork and other information in a timely manner, which may make it possible to streamline the appeal process.