College Student’s SSDI Story Stirs Criticism

Recently, WLOS-TV in North Carolina had a heartbreaking story about a college student whose dream of graduating may be denied due to his Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim.

Samuel Gardner, 19, a sophomore at Western Carolina University, suffers from cerebral palsy. His dream is to graduate with a degree in theater; however, he may no longer be able to afford it. Gardner, who pays his own rent and tuition, applied for SSDI in May 2014 after he graduated from high school.

He said he previously worked at a supermarket, but his condition has worsened. “My feet…the longer I stand on them, the more of a problem they become,” Gardner said, according to WLOS. “And I’ve gotten to the point now, the longer I sit even for 25 minutes, my feet will go numb.”

Because he is unable to work, Gardner applied for SSDI. However, his claim has been denied twice. It has gotten to the point where he has been threatened with eviction because he is unable to pay his bills without the program’s assistance.

“I’m really running out of options as to where to go and what to do,” Gardner said. In North Carolina, WLOS reported that 67 percent of initial SSDI claims are denied. In addition to the strict process, Gardner has to wait because the SSA is currently backed up with claims.

“Exceptionally high levels of hearing requests, budget constraints and tough budget years in the past, and the inability to hire judges have challenged our ability to keep up with hearings requests,” have resulted in lengthy decision periods, an Social Security representative told WLOS.

In the meantime, Gardner has begun working with an attorney and has reached out to Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Mark Meadows to help expedite his claim.

Our Tulsa Disability Attorneys Can Help Your SSDI Claim

This story is an unfortunate reminder that the SSDI process can be lengthy and rough for people who are struggling financially. This is why it is important to work with our Tulsa disability attorneys. Our firm can make sure your application or appeal contains all of the necessary information for your claim to be successful. This can help speed up the process.

Remember, we are not paid unless your claim is successful. Our fees are governed by Social Security regulations, and we are typically paid through past-due benefits awarded. You can reach us by calling the phone number or by using the contact form on this page.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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