Aging Baby Boomers, privatization talks, running out of money – all these Social Security topics may have you worried about your benefits or about your ability to get benefits down the line, but, as we have discussed this week, things are not nearly as bad as the media and politicians sometimes make them appear.
There have been changes in recent years, however, that will have an impact on your application for Social Security benefits. Disability applicants are at their highest numbers ever due to a mix of factors like an aging population, a poor economy and recognition by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) of new disabilities. What are some of the practical effects of these factors for people interested in applying for disability benefits?
Long waits for disability benefits
Depending on the SSA office to which you apply, your wait for disability benefits could be as long as one to two years. The number of pending disability applicants – also known as the backlog – has been around 700,000. With increasing numbers of applicants and funding that does not keep pace, the SSA does the best it can with its resources. Due to the wait time, we always recommend applying for benefits as soon as you suffer a disability and stop working. Any delay in your applying for benefits simply adds to an already long wait.
Disability applicants should take other steps while their applications are pending. Applicants should be sure to present their best case at every stage. This means keeping meticulous notes and thorough medical records to show to your SSA examiners and your attorney. A Tulsa Oklahoma Social Security disability attorney can provide more guidance on how to navigate the application process.
Additionally, applicants should not plan on receiving benefits by any particular date. The process can be unpredictable or even ultimately unfavorable, as the SSA denies more applicants than it accepts. Make plans to receive financial assistance through other means while your disability benefits application is pending.
Have you recently applied for SSDI or SSI benefits? What did you do while you were waiting on your application?
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys