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Social Security Disability Benefit Delays Occurring Due to Sequester

Recently, the Baltimore Sun published an article indicating that people nationwide were growing frustrated with the government and likely to become much more upset as a result of lengthy delays in dealings with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has had to cut the hours of their employees and limit appointment times significantly. This has occurred as a result of the sequester.

Our Durham, NC disability attorneys know that those hit hardest by delays and backlogs with the Social Security Administration are the disabled. Those seeking disability benefits already had an average wait time of between three and five months to have a claim approved, assuming that there were no problems and that the claim was approved the first time without the need to appeal (otherwise the wait is much longer). Now, with fewer workers at the SSA and with reduced appointment times, people waiting for life-sustaining disability income may need to wait even longer and cope with even more problems and hurdles.

Paralyzed_06132014Sequester Makes Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits Harder

Individuals applying for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, will generally need to visit the office of their local SSA to obtain their application, to submit paperwork and documentation and to ask questions about their claims. Unfortunately, because of the sequester, the SSA has had to limit the hours that its offices are open and limit the number of appointments scheduled. Those who need to start the lengthy application process or who need help from an SSA representative could thus find themselves waiting days, weeks or even months just to get a simple application or question answered.

Once a person has applied for benefits, the claim will need to be reviewed by a disability claims examiner. With fewer employees at the SSA, it could take a longer period of time for the claim to be approved, even when the application is completed perfectly. During this time, typically a disabled individual is not working at all since part of the criteria for qualifying for benefits is that you are too impaired to work. Waiting months to get an answer on qualifying for benefits when you have no money coming in can be a terrible burden.

If your claim is denied, or if you have any questions about any of your benefits, then you'll also have longer wait times for appeals or to get your questions answered. An appeals process that already took an average of a year could take even longer.

All of these consequences have occurred as a result of automatic spending cuts that went into effect in March. The spending cuts were intended to be so unpleasant that the politicians in charge would be forced to agree to a deal to cut spending in a more sensible way. When lawmakers failed to agree, the harsh cuts went into effect and now lawmakers cannot compromise on how to replace them with alternatives that make sense. As such, the cuts to Social Security offices are likely here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. This means that while benefits checks go out as normal and as promised, anyone making a new claim suffers.

For those applying for benefits, having a lawyer representing you may be your best option so you can get questions answered quickly by someone who knows the disability benefits system and so you can get the help you may need to move your application forward as quickly as you can.

If you need help applying for disability benefits, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

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Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

201 McCullough Drive, Suite 220
Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078