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Recipients may face longer wait times for benefits

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a daunting process. Even after an applicant is approved, delays could cause serious and long-term financial harm. Applicants will often be denied benefits on a first attempt and the face bureaucratic hurdles, before and after a claim is approved. Sadly, disabled and injured persons, as well as their families, often slip into poverty while waiting for benefits.

The Social Security disability benefits system functions on delays and denials. A first-time denial is more common than not, and many applicants will continue to face delays, months or years after a claim has been approved. For those in need of benefits in Los Angeles, California and nationwide, a burgeoning Social Security Administration caseload could also mean additional wait times and delays. According to reports, the problem is getting worse in part because of an aging baby boomer population.

Those in need of benefits depend on the system for basics, including food, shelter, and clothes. Delays and denials are often a matter of life or death. The Social Security Administration reported that 2,000 cases were dismissed last year because the claimant had died before processing.

Delays could result from an inability to provide medical documentation, which can a challenge, especially for those who do not have access to medical treatment or insurance. If you are facing delays or denials an experienced advocate may be able to streamline the process and help you provide the documentation necessary for your claim. The system is becoming increasingly stressed and claimants may face even more delays than they have in the past.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Families face long waits for Social Security disability benefits," Yvonne Wenger, Oct. 27, 2012

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