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Why so many people die waiting on their Social Security Disability benefits

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2021 | Social Security Disability |

If you’re suffering from a debilitating injury or illness that affects your ability to work and you intend to submit a Social Security Disability (SSD) application, you need to move quickly to ensure that you won’t go long without the much-needed financial support and medical coverage such benefits can provide.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is notorious for denying valid disability applications. Data published by the federal agency in 2019 showed that it’s not uncommon for individuals to die while waiting for benefits. This indicates that many worthy disability claims are being unfairly and incorrectly denied.

What leads to Social Security Administration Disability benefits denials

In many cases, the reason that applicants die before they receive benefits is the fact that their initial claims and reconsideration appeals were denied. They then have to go through a lengthy wait to get a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

Data published by the SSA in 2019 showed that at least 675,000 individuals were still awaiting a response to their application for disability benefits. Those same statistics revealed how at least 2,200 applicants died while awaiting the SSA’s response. SSA data also shows they only approved 28% of first-time SSD applications between 2000 and 2010. That percentage decreased by 6% between 2007 and 2016. 

What that tells you is that the application process for SSD benefits is stacked against you.

How can you minimize the chances of a denial?

Many Americans make paycheck contributions to the SSA every pay period, so they’ll be eligible for benefits if they become too hurt or sick that they can’t work. Many people don’t realize until they need them just how hard it is to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Often, it’s not enough to just give SSA your application and contact information for your medical providers. Working with an attorney here in Grand Rapids can help you compile your records in a way that makes it easier for SSA to see why you should be approved. That can help you overcome your initial denial much more easily.