Social Security Backlog Delays Benefits

A recession, rising unemployment rates, and state budget cuts are making Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application backlogs worse than ever.

The Social Security benefits program provides monthly benefits to those who have health problems that prevent them from working. To get Social Security benefits, one must prove they are severely disabled and are unable to work for more than a year. The claims process can take upwards of two years. 

The Social Security benefits program has been experiencing rising claims levels due to the aging of the baby boomers. It now can add the recession as another influence. In 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) received 2.8 million initial benefits claims, an increase of 15 percent from 2008. The estimate for 2010 is 3.3 million applications.

In addition to the large increase in applicants, the Social Security benefits program is suffering due to the Social Security Administration paying states to handle claims. Cash-strapped states such as Maine are instituting statewide furlough programs which cause a delay in paying benefits. States that furlough all disability determination employees have an average of 14 percent less capacity than they need to handle claims. Currently, there are 13 states with full or partial furloughs.

From January through September of 2009, 30 states and the District of Columbia failed to meet federal standards that say they should pay at least 87 percent of unemployment claims within 14 to 21 days of the application. Nationwide, 2 million people received their first checks later than normal with some coming after more than 70 days. In an attempt to solve the problem, the U.S. Department of Labor has given states $150 million to improve their technology.

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we know how frustrating it can be when applying for Social Security benefits. If you’ve been denied benefits, don’t give up! In over 35 years of practice, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has helped over 15,000 Mainers get the justice they deserve.

With a dedicated Social Security Disability team featuring 4 attorneys and support staff of 12, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein will fight for the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation, and find out how we can help Tell The Federal Government You Mean Business!

For more information on the Social Security benefits program please visit:

The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein – Maine Lawyers Working For Maine People 

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