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More than 1 million await Social Security disability decision

Written by Diane Archer

More than 1 million people await a Social Security disability decision, according to an ABC news report. People typically wait nearly two years for a determination. And, some die while waiting.

Most people who apply to Social Security for disability benefits generally are rejected the first go round. Only about one in three applications are approved. But, the majority of people who appeal their decisions to an administrative law judge end up being awarded disability benefits.

Congress has cut money from Social Security’s administrative budget in recent years, even though these administrative costs come directly out of the Social Security Trust Fund. Moreover, Social Security’s administrative costs are a tiny fraction–less than one percent–of its budget.

Today, about 10 million people receive Social Security benefits based on their or their spouses’ work contributions into Social Security. Another 8.5 million people who have not contributed enough to be eligible for Social Security benefits receive Supplemental Security Income because of a disability. The average monthly Social Security disability benefit is $1,037.

Only people whose disability prevents them from working qualify for Social Security disability benefits. And, they must have had a disability for at least one year or a life-threatening disability.

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1 Comment

  • …Page is scrambled up cannot see complete graph.

    As to the wait, it took about two and a half years (and several appeals) to finally get my basic monthly benefits. My attorney is still working on the case for retroactive benefits.

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