Longer Wait Times for North Carolina Social Security Disability Appeals?

July 4, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A June 23 story in USA Today has many North Carolina social security disability applicants really worried.

A 5% jump in SSD appeals cases over last year may create a horrific backlog (think L.A.’s “Carmaggedon” but with SSD applications) that likely will increase wait times, stress administrators, and compel injured/sick applicants to wait longer in limbo. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) – a data mining organization based in Syracuse University – examined SSD appeal hearing data and found that, as of May 27, the queue of pending appeals had reached nearly 750,000.

The Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Michael Astrue, responded to the TRAC data by trying to quell concerns about wait times. According to Astrue, the data do not necessarily suggest that the agency won’t meet its goal of reducing waiting time for benefits. More specifically: the wait time from October 2010 through April 2011 was just about a year – 367 days. That’s way down from 514 days (the all time maximum), which hit applicants back in fiscal year 2008. The SSA wants to get that wait time down to 270 days by 2013, irrespective of the “growth” in number of appeals.

If you are an SSD applicant – or if you are friends or family members with someone who is sick and injured and who needs answers about benefit questions — all of these statistics may just seem like confusing nonsense. What you need and want is someone to patiently listen to your concerns, answer urgent questions you have about the process, and tell you exactly what to expect and when to expect it.

Your best avenue for developing this kind of support is to connect with a creditable and ethical North Carolina social security disability law firm.

More Web Resources:

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse