SSA Area Places of work Reopen to Large Backlogs after Covid Shutdown


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What to do after SSDI is denied the first time

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What to do after SSDI is denied the first time

COVID-forced closures have decimated many sides of our lives and companies. One far-reaching instance is the Social Safety incapacity program. In the event you’re making use of for incapacity advantages, you'll want to know the cruel realities of the backlogs and wait occasions you'll face, and what you are able to do about them.

You probably have a declare at any stage of the method, don’t surrender! Understanding the method and being represented by a certified incapacity lawyer will assist you prevail. What follows is a abstract of the present state of the Social Safety incapacity backlogs and wait occasions, and steps that can assist you take management of the state of affairs, so that you obtain the advantages you deserve. 

March 17, 2020 – SSA Closes Area Places of work

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in early 2020, the Social Safety Administration (SSA) shut down greater than 1,200 area places of work.

Nearly instantly, each area workplace – native places of work for thousands and thousands of individuals doing enterprise in particular person with the SSA – started working remotely, through cellphone, mail, or nearly.  In-person appointments have been accessible for “dire need” instances solely. Some duties have been suspended altogether.

April 7, 2022 – SSA Reopens Area Places of work

For a few years, we've watched the SSA work to eradicate a staggering backlog of incapacity purposes and appeals of declare denials, and to enhance processing occasions. All through the Covid-19 pandemic, our incapacity legislation agency has made a degree of maintaining purchasers and the general public knowledgeable. Sadly, progress made in previous years has been wiped away by the pandemic shutdown, and new points have surfaced.

Now it’s spring of 2022. We're seeing frustrations develop as Social Safety area places of work throughout the nation lastly reopen their doorways to a public who could not perceive the chances they’re up towards.  

The void of in-person providers has solely expanded SSA’s huge backlog.

Statistics present that new claims for incapacity advantages declined through the Covid outbreak. It's because our most susceptible residents rely closely on in-person providers. Many who're bodily or mentally disabled, the aged, and people with few sources are sometimes very restricted of their capability to speak nearly, by cellphone, submit info on-line, or ship faxes to the SSA.

However as new instances have been decrease through the pandemic, SSA’s stack of pending instances rose dramatically. In its Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Requestto Congress, the SSA reported that: 

  • SSA’s backlog of preliminary incapacity instances grew to over 798,000 by February 2022, in comparison with 594,000 in September 2019, and
  • 12 months-to-date wait occasions on declare selections (by February 2022) are 173 days in comparison with 120 days in September 2019.

Couple that with the long-term disabling results COVID-19 has had on many who contracted it, similar to lung scarring, coronary heart injury, and neurological and psychological well being results. Because the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities states, the SSA might want to cope with these complicated new COVID-based incapacity claims plus any delayed claims from individuals who in any other case would have obtained advantages through the previous two years. 

It ought to be famous, most retirement and Medicare claims have been processed usually through the shutdown. It's primarily the SSDI and SSI claims methods which were clogged with waits and repair delays.

The underlying truth is that processing occasions and backlogs for incapacity claims have grown tremendously. For instance, the common processing time for preliminary incapacity claims elevated 46 % (from 95.5 days to 139.4 days) through the pandemic, based on the SSA Office of the Inspector General.

These delays trigger important hardships for potential beneficiaries. The long-term fallout will doubtless disrupt thousands and thousands of claims and awards, together with:

  • Extreme delays and discount in approvals of SSDI and SSI purposes and appeals;
  • Difficulties for seniors in rural areas and others who could not have a dependable phone or web entry;
  • Will increase in ALJ hearings because the company takes on elevated incapacity purposes.

Shutdown Triggers New Backlog

Through the shutdown, SSA suspended sure “non-essential” work inflicting new backlogs. For instance, persevering with incapacity evaluations (CDRs) to find out whether or not incapacity beneficiaries are nonetheless eligible for advantages have been shelved through the pandemic. SSA should administer CDRs on a sure schedule, that means there may be now a brand new backlog so as to add to the combination.

To repair all the issues, the company plans to interchange DDS workers losses and add further hires, make use of extra ALJs, implement time beyond regulation work hours, and apply new applied sciences and telework plans. Even when all goes to plan, it should take a few years to eradicate the backlog and return wait occasions to pre-pandemic ranges

What Can a Incapacity Claimant Do?

An skilled incapacity lawyer combating for you may make all of the distinction in getting your SSDI declare accredited within the shortest potential time. 

Even in the very best of occasions, making use of for advantages or interesting a denial will be immensely complicated in addition to bodily and mentally exhausting. Lower than certainly one of each three claims not represented by a lawyer succeeds in being accredited. With expert authorized counsel, the variety of profitable Social Safety incapacity claims doubles.

Many purposes are denied as a result of the claimant didn't present the required information and documentation. Most individuals do not know find out how to consider their medical information, or what inquiries to ask their physician. They don’t know what an examiner or a choose is admittedly on the lookout for with a specific medical situation, or find out how to totally put together a incapacity case for a listening to.

Ten Methods We Assist Our Shoppers Win Advantages

On the legislation agency of Whitehead & Associates, we deal with every part for you. Founding accomplice Marc Whitehead is Board Licensed in Social Safety Incapacity Regulation by the Nationwide Board of Social Safety Incapacity Advocacy. We deal with instances from the preliminary software stage by administrative hearings and federal court docket.

Under are simply a few of the steps we take that will help you win your incapacity declare.

  1. We hold you knowledgeable. Your devoted authorized staff will make it simple so that you can keep knowledgeable all through your Social Safety incapacity case.
  2. Preparation. We assemble all proof essential to show you've gotten the impairments you declare to have. We make certain all proof is thorough and acceptable – medical therapy information, doctor’s statements, lacking medical proof, vocational assessments, each day journals, and witness statements from household, pals, and associates.
  3. Medical collaboration. We work very intently along with your medical doctors that will help you get the medical documentation you want. It's vital that your physician’s information and statements particularly assist your case. Plus, Social Safety incapacity examiners and administrative legislation judges (ALJs) are on the lookout for particular terminology and therapy information; with out this proof, your declare stands little likelihood of approval.
  4. Useful/vocational collaboration: We work with occupational and vocational specialists to acquire decisive knowledgeable opinions relating to your bodily and psychological practical limitations.
  5. Medical-vocational allowance. Most Social Safety Incapacity claims which might be accredited for advantages don't meet the powerful medical standards listed within the SSA’s medical Itemizing of Impairments. As a substitute, they're accredited on SSA’s medical-vocational allowance. To this finish, we develop proof relating to your “Residual Functional Capacity” which is the important thing to your incapacity declare. The purpose is that each declare should be totally ready with enough medical information, the required enter out of your medical doctors, and acceptable vocational proof – which collectively show that you're unable to operate within the office.
  6. Particular assist for the disabled over 50. The SSA treats people who're older than 50 based on a particular algorithm. An skilled Social Safety incapacity lawyer can use these guidelines to assist win a incapacity case.
  7. Medical situations. Our incapacity attorneys are educated of disabling medical situations and know find out how to join the dots from situation to proving incapacity. We apply the present science and expertise to construct the small print of your case. [Link to the landing page for Disabling Conditions]
  8. We signify you on the ALJ listening toif one is required. This contains assembly with you earlier than your listening to to organize your testimony and getting ready you to inform your story to the choose. On the ALJ listening to, you and your lawyer have an opportunity to submit new proof, name knowledgeable witnesses to testify in your behalf, and cross-examine the specialists who made the unique suggestions to disclaim your declare. We comply with up after the listening to to verify your advantages are paid accurately. [Link to article: ALJ Hearing – What to Expect, How to Prepare for Your Disability Hearing]
  9. Appeals Council and Federal court docket appeals. If the ALJ upholds the unique denial of advantages, there are two extra steps within the Social Safety Incapacity appeals course of: an Appeals Council Assessment, adopted by an attraction listening to in a Federal district court docket. Our incapacity attorneys signify purchasers at each step of the SSA incapacity attraction course of.
  10. Our fame. With 30 years of serving to claimants, we're identified and revered for wonderful communication with the Social Safety Administration.

Get Your Life Again Immediately

For many years Marc Whitehead & Associates have helped folks throughout the nation file, attraction, and obtain the Social Safety Incapacity advantages they deserve. We reply each name. In case you are disabled and might now not work, contact our legislation workplace or name (800) 562-9830 to talk with us at present. 



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