SSDI Recipients Suffer From Benefit Delays

It is no secret that it can be difficult and daunting to start receiving Social Security Disability Insurance. The process is long, hard enough without the Social Security Administration’s backlog on applications, and processing of claims.

Grant Sterling, a Crestline resident, suffers from Prinzmetal angina. He describes his heart condition as if his heart is misfiring and it feels like a heart attack. Sterling applied for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI in 2006, as he was unable to go back to work. Due to the agency’s backlog, it took him more than three and a half years before he received his first disability check.

A part of that long process included applying for disability benefits, and plenty of doctor’s visits plus countless pieces of paper. However, a big part of the delay came from a decision by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to give state workers two to three unpaid days off each month.

As of Nov. 30 of 2010, 84,000 initial applications for SSDI delayed due to furloughs and more than $23 million in monthly benefits experienced delays. Gov Schwarzenegger’s decision came due to state’s monetary and budget crisis.

The new Governor Jerry Brown received a letter, asking him to ensure the SSDI processors were exempt from furloughs, pay freezes or overtime restrictions. The Governor’s decision to include SSDI processors in the state’s budget repairs affected many families who depended on their SSDI benefits.


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