For Social Security Disability applicants, time is of the essence. Individuals who seek disability benefits have become injured or ill to the point that they can no longer carry on working at a full-time pace. These applicants need the assistance of disability benefits to make ends meet. However, for applicants in some parts of the country, wait times to receive benefits have become extensive. Syracuse applicants now face some of the longest waits in the nation, leaving disabled residents struggling as they wait for answers. Our Manhattan, New York Social Security Disability claims lawyer discusses the wait in Syracuse for benefits and what applicants across New York can do to expedite their claims.
In Syracuse, there are currently over 7,000 people waiting for Social Security disability benefit hearings. The average SSD applicant in Syracuse is currently waiting about 19-months to receive their hearing, and after the hearing it generally takes another six months before a formal decision is entered. In sum, this means that for applicants in Syracuse, it can realistically take two years to receive approval of their application.
Compounding the problem is the sad fact that the majority of first time applicants will be denied when they first apply. Denials can add to the already lengthy time that you could wait to receive benefits. Syracuse currently boasts the tenth longest wait time to receive a hearing in the United States. Long wait times are partly to blame on federal budget cuts, which have left SSD offices and agencies short staffed. Congress has increased SSA funding in hopes to help the backlog, but relief has yet to be felt among applicants.
If you are one of the millions of disabled individuals who will seek SSD benefits this year, there are some steps you can take to potentially receive an answer sooner. First, you will want to make sure your application contains as much detailed information and evidence in support of your claim as possible. Check to see if your condition could allow for a compassionate allowance or expedited review due to its seriousness.
Much of the delay comes when waiting for a hearing, so you could consider requesting instead an on the record review instead of a hearing. You will need to make sure your record is sufficient for such a review, which your attorney will help you complete. Alternatively, you may wish to request an attorney advisor decision. Contact an SSD attorney for more information about your options and what you can do to speed up the application process.