Filing for and receiving Social Security disability is a long process, made more so by the fact that you have medical problems and may not be not working. Although some cases are approved at the initial level, many claims end up at hearing, and the time from the initial application to hearing can extend over two years.
In a recent article, there were some interesting and current statistics about the Social Security Disability program. The article focuses on the Social Security’s disability program as it edges toward the brink of insolvency. The trust fund that supports the disability program is projected to run out of money in 2016.
So if you are thinking about filing for social security disability, here are a few facts:
- The amount you receive each month will be based on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. It is not based on how severe your disability is or how much income you have.
- In 2007, the average processing time for a hearing was 512 days. It was reduced to less than 365 days in 2012 but has since crept back up above 400 days.
- There are 937,600 cases pending before administrative law judges, according to agency statistics.
- Social Security employs a little more than 1,400 administrative law judges.
- By the time disability cases reach an administrative law judge, the claims have been rejected at least once and often twice by workers in state offices.
- Nearly 11 million disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security disability benefits. That’s a 45 percent increase from a decade ago. The average monthly benefit for a disabled worker is $1,146.
- Nationwide, approval rates among judges have declined in recent years. In 2013, judges approved 56 percent of the cases they decided, down from 72 percent in 2005.