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Applicants wait longer for Social Security disability benefits

Sometimes a workplace accident can cause a serious injury for a person. If the injury is severe or the medication or treatment isn't working, the person may not be able to return to work for a long period of time. In some situations, the worker may be eligible for social security disability benefits.

But now, a report from Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a research group, is showing that there has been an increase in the number of pending Social Security Disability appeals this year. What does this mean for applicants?

For people unable to work and in need of Social Security benefits, this means a longer period of time before their appeal is heard. Some believe that the growth of appeals is due to the high number of unemployed individuals given the economic downturn.

With the increase, the Social Security Administration has set a goal to reduce the wait time. This could prove difficult as more appeals are being filed and the number of pending cases continues to increase. Given this information, the agency is projecting the goal will be reached in 2013. For the hundreds of thousands of Americans waiting for their appeal to be heard, that means more time without these types of benefits.

Social Security benefits are meant for people who are severely injured and are not capable of performing work because of their disability. Many beneficiaries are elderly or disabled. These benefits are not limited to those who were injured on-the-job; in order to qualify for the benefits, the injury must fulfill the requirements.

Source: USA Today online, "Backlog grows for Social Security appeals," Kevin McCoy, 23 June 2011

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