The Government Accountability Office, a government watchdog group, recently conducted a study on the adverse effects caused by the backlog in the Social Security system. In the time period studied, the GAO discovered that over 100,000 people died while waiting on their Social Security appeals to be heard while an additional 50,000 were forced to file for bankruptcy protection during the process. These findings could have severe ramifications for New Jersey citizens trying to get their Social Security.
The Social Security Administration, or SSA, indicated that there are currently 10 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits. A report released in December of 2018 detailed that 87% of Social Security funds went to disabled workers, totaling over $11 billion.
The GAO took this information and combined it with a study of those who appealed denied requests for Social Security disability benefits between 2014 and 2019. The study immediately indicated that most of those who filed claims within that time span waited more than 12 months for their claim to receive a decision. The SSA admits that wait times in 2015 jumped to 841 days on average, up from 561 days in 2010.
Those wait times have led to an increase in financial hardships for those who are waiting to receive the money that is often awarded to them after an expensive legal battle. That fact is highlighted by the 50,000 bankruptcy filings of those who were tied up in the SSA appeals system.
An individual who finds themselves in a battle for the Social Security disability funds that they need is encouraged to work with an attorney in Social Security law. This attorney may review the details of their client’s claim, including medical and legal files, and help their client fight for the funds that they are entitled to.